Against the odds—and over the objections of most creditors—Eddie Lampert has "saved" Sears, with a federal bankruptcy court judge approving the sale of the once-storied retailer to the billionaire hedge fund king. At one level, we should admire the resilience of the former Sears CEO (and its principal shareholder, though ESL Holdings). Part Energizer bunny, part Michael Myers from the … Continue reading Sears lives to die another day
In the weird irony that is often part of retail (and life in general), Sears Holdings recently announced its first quarter of comparable sales growth in many years—and I believe only its second or third since I left the retailer in 2003! It turns out that the liquidations sales being held in the many Sears and Kmart locations that … Continue reading Dead brand walking: Sears is going out with a bang
I suspect hardly anyone is surprised when an ailing retailer announces plans to shutter locations en masse. Across the last several years we've seen dozens of once mighty chains close hundreds of stores in hopes of staving off a trip to the retail graveyard. Last week, having already closed some 120 stores in a bid … Continue reading The critical question for struggling retailers: Too much store or not enough brand?
At one level, the announcement that JC Penney was going to stop wooing younger customers in favor of focusing on baby boomer moms seems to make a lot of sense. During the devastating Ron Johnson era, Penney's was practically driven out of business by trying to execute what I call the customer trapeze way too quickly while simultaneously … Continue reading JC Penney goes back to the future, but it’s likely too little, too late
The moderate department store sector has been struggling for some two decades; first losing share to category killers and discount mass merchants, then to off-price retailers and now, increasingly, to Amazon. Since 2008, department stores' share of total retail has sunk from 2.8% to about 1.7%. Over 1,000 stores have been shuttered during the past … Continue reading Will Macy’s ignite a new era of legacy retailer innovation?