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


#301

This is such a common mistake that they teach it in every business class ever. There are numerous case studies like Kodak inventing the digital camera but shelving it out of fear, but when you’re in the trenches I imagine it’s harder to see clearly. But Sears for sure missed numerous opportunities to keep up and I’m sure one of the big reasons was not wanting to cannibalize brick and mortar.

Oh well. I’m sure the brand will live on. They’ll slap it on something dumb.


#302

By the time they realized their mistake it was too late.


#303

Not necessarily. You integrate those big brick and mortar locations into the Internet business.

Sears had warehouses all over the country to ship their Internet orders from (or allow for in-store pickup) and they never figured that out.

Hard to believe, but the Service Merchandise model is actually closer to the real best way to do things in 2019, except you also run each location as a store and not just a catalog showroom.


#304

Kind of like Xerox. They couldn’t see beyond their current business model.


#305

To be fair Sears isn’t the only business to have underestimated how the internet would change retail. There are lots of companies that failed to see how it would benefit them until it was to late. That is why most of the big boys in the industry are not connected to traditional companies.

Look how IBM screwed up in understanding where their industry was going.

Another excellent example.


#306

But clearly there must still be lots of value in brick and mortar stores. Even Amazon is doing it! Any word on how that’s working out for them?


#307

That’s complicated. Amazon’s brick and mortar bookstores are mainly meant to sell you Echo products and the Amazon platform, as a whole (e.g., the books are priced at the current Amazon.com pricing).

Obviously there’s still a ton of value in B&M, but I don’t know if pointing to Amazon physical stores is a clean example of the value of B&M, since it is so intertwined with they’re online presence. I think something like Target is a better example.


#308

They’re not large stores, either. The flagship store at University Village in Seattle used to be a sushi restaurant. And, like Apple, Amazon is only placing their stores in really affluent, select shopping centers.

They’re nothing like the vast majority of big box retailers.


#309

There is. You have to make a commitment to be a part of the local community and offer reasonable value vs online. It’s totally doable. People like to shop!


#310

The beast that just won’t die.

Sears Holdings reached a roughly $5 billion deal with its chairman, Eddie Lampert, early Wednesday morning to keep the company, and roughly 400 stores, in operations, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Still, obstacles for Lampert and Sears remain. Sears’ unsecured creditors are not on board with Lampert’s bid, a person familiar with the situation said. They have said there may be claims against Sears for deals done under Lampert’s tenure as CEO and its largest shareholder, which include Sears’ spinoff of Lands’ End in 2014 and transactions with Seritage Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust Lampert created through some Sears’ properties a year later.

If the Sears’ unsecured creditors formally object to the bid, the bankruptcy judge will need to assess the merits of their claim on Jan. 31. Lampert needs the judge’s sign-off in order for his bid to be official.


#311

I presume this means that Lampert sees some way to squeeze out a bit more cash for himself.


#312

It’s funny. There is a corresponding discussion about individuals in P&R (which I will not link to, as I have no desire to bring P&R here) where someone noted that coal miners want to bring “coal” back in the sense that they want to go back to the way things were with coal mining so they all have the same jobs they used to have. But there is no going back. Technology advances, we do not need the same numbers of miners, or even miners with the same skills that miners had 30-40 years ago.

Companies would rather try to sell you on how their antiquated model is somehow better (when it isn’t) than adapt to the new model. But people are too smart. As Judge Judy says, don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining, and don’t try to tell me that having a physical roll of film that I have to send off to be developed is somehow better than infinite instant pictures.

Time and technology both march on. And it is interesting how both individuals and companies refuse to yield to that and reinvent themselves, and instead try to do everything possible to somehow force the status quo to continue. Neither companies nor individuals usually succeed.


#313

I imagine it’s more milking of the company by Fast Eddie, but I know my friend who still works for Sears Corporate was very glad as it keeps her employed.


#314

I hate to say this, but she’s going to lose it as he’ll fire everyone, liquidate everything, and then rent out the land. This was his plan all along.


#315

This is writing on the wall. 5 Billion / 400 stores = $12,500,00 each store and at a whopping average of 159,000 per location that’s only $78 per square foot. With average retail space at around $23/sq ft, his ROI is around 3 years. Nowhere else can you find that kind of ROI.


#316

Oh I’m sure she’s aware - but she just finished a long divorce and finding a new job in the midst of it was not gonna happen.

My teammate at work worked for Sears Holdings for ~ 15 years and he had no remorse about having left it.

That both said, I’ve been told that Sears was a good company to work for many years - which might explain the loyalty some people have had with it (even when things started looked bleak).