Sears is selling Craftsman to Stanley Black & Decker, closing 150 stores


#201

Closing a major retail store IN NOVEMBER. Those stores must be the wrost-performing stores ever to not even warrant staying open through Christmas.


#202

My local sears store is on that list. I am not sure how to feel about it. Is sears trying to survive or are they in full liquidation mode?


#203

I think what he means is that vulture capitalism should be illegal.


#204

Well, I think specifically the main reasons for Sears’ downfall, besides the decline of brick & mortar, were agressive stock buybacks and completely insane company culture.


#205

Care to elaborate on the completely insane company culture?


#206

Mine closed earlier this year. I really enjoyed their pick up service, so I stopped shopping on Sears online.


#207

I’ve read that Lampert rarely visits SHD in IL and does all his management from whatever mansion or yacht he lives in. He videoconferences and puts the top execs on the spot and grills them relentlessly (as if Sears’ current problems are caused by the current crop of C-suite people).

I live within biking distance of their HQ and have known a number of people who have worked there. As of this year, I only know one. She told me that she was recently given a “promotion” and a big raise - maybe 20% - but then the company doubled her (already sizeable) workload. I guess they fired another guy and gave his “portfolio” to her.


#208

I don’t know what Lampert is doing to Sears in the US. In Canada, he had special dividends paid out (and of course he is a big shareholder) leaving the employees to hold the bag on the company’s bankruptcy with an underfunded pension.


#209

Lampert was also trying to push Sear’s e-commerce sales, and people were able to figure out that some customer who was giving out great reviews on the site was Lampert himself.


#210

That is pathetically, infuriatingly hilarious.


#211

Yeah that’s an impressive level of scum and villainy, he pretty much padded his own pockets at the cost of Sears Canada and its retieree’s.

In 2005, U.S. hedge fund manager Edward Lampert gained control of Sears Roebuck in the U.S., becoming the controlling shareholder of Sears Canada. He would retain a controlling interest in Sears Canada, through Sears Holdings and later through his hedge fund, ESL & Associates, that has fluctuated, but which continues to this day.

Between Dec. 9, 2005 and Dec. 9, 2013, Sears Canada paid $3.4 billion in dividends to shareholders, including $2 billion in 2005, $377 million in 2010, $102 million in 2012 and $509 million in 2013.

The dividends were being funded by the sale of some of the company’s most important assets, including the Sears Credit and Financial Services operations, which was profitable and contributed a large portion of Sears Canada’s total earnings. It was sold for $2.4 billion in 2005. Sears sold leases to flagship stores in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

Same-store sales dropped every year after 2005. Operating income dropped every year after 2007, swinging to losses in 2011 that deepened annually.

Between 2005 and 2011, the average dividend yield for Sears shareholders was 17.8 per cent, compared to the average dividend yield of approximately 3 per cent for companies on the TSX.


#212

I wonder if that last blockbuster store will still be open when the last Sears store closes.


#213

I don’t know, but it apparently is doing well enough that its getting its own beer!


#214

I’m gonna quote myself on this one:

Eddie Lampert put all divisions in competition (even ones like marketing which should be in support of the others), he refused to remodel stores, putting his ambition on being the next “big data” giant like Facebook, he stripped Sears of its best assets and cash, he micro-managed to the extent that he stopped people from using certain words in board meetings and he basically was a finance hotshot that thought he could do no wrong with no experience or interest in retail. To top it all off, he was an almost Howard Huges-like recluse that almost never showed up to the office.


#215

Was there any urine collecting or fingernail growing reported?


#216

I don’t know, maybe he’s mostly afraid of the germs.


#217

EVERY time I think of Hughes, that clip pops in my head. :)


#218

Sounds like the final nails are going to soon be hammered into the coffin.


#219

It’s not even my debt and it stresses me out. The feeling of owing money and not being able to pay it is one of the worst feelings for me. Thankfully I haven’t put myself in that position since my careless young adulthood in the 90s.


#220

Except in the CEO’s case it’s an excuse to loot assets of the company AGAIN for bargain-base prices.