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Woe is Sears

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by oragator1, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. oragator1

    oragator1 Premium Member

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    They reported another bad quarter today.

    Not a shock, but this is what stood out to me.

    “Sears, once the nation's largest employer, has an estimated 100,000 retirees still eligible for benefits under the pension plans, according to a federal regulator. By comparison, the company had only 89,000 employees as of February, and many of them have since left the company because of store closings.”

    Talk about a death spiral.

    There’s also this:

    “Lampert said Sears has paid almost $2 billion into pension plans in the past five years, and $4.5 billion since Sears and Kmart merged in 2005 to form Sears Holdings (SHLD). The company pays retirees about $300 million a year, filings show.”

    “Sears has lost $11.7 billion since its last profitable year in 2012.”

    What's killing Sears? Its own retirees, the CEO says
     
  2. fastsix

    fastsix Premium Member

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    What's killing Sears, is that Sears sucks. The last time I went to Sears it was depressing - and that was years ago. Reminded me of Kmart before they went out of business. Felt like it hadn't been updated in a decade and that they were only running half the lights to save on electricity. They didn't seem to have what I was looking for, and there wasn't a salesperson in sight to ask for help.
     
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  3. RayGator

    RayGator Moderator VIP Member

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    It’s a shame really. Was once a great American company that meant so much to so many. In days before so many even had a Radio, no TVs at all, receiving the latest Sears catalogue gave them a lot of excitement. So very many years ago I can remember my Mom talking about Sears when she was a coal miner’s daughter..
     
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  4. VAg8r1

    VAg8r1 GC Hall of Fame

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    The pensions are definitely a drag but that's not what is killing Sears. This is
    [​IMG]
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. oragator1

    oragator1 Premium Member

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    While it is part rationalization for sure and they have made more than their share of mistakes, the article points out that sears says that the money spent on pensions (which none of their rivals have even remotely their burden on) is why they haven’t been able to invest in modernization. And the article also points out that they are having to sell off their few decent divisions to pay for it.
    Classic death spiral.
     
  6. demosthenes

    demosthenes Premium Member

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    You're looking at a symptom.
     
  7. rivergator

    rivergator Too Hot Mod Moderator VIP Member

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    It's weird. I worked with a woman whose husband spent his career in the men's department at JC Penney. They were a solid middle class family. He retired with pension. You can't do that now, can you?

    Penney Farms was created just south of Jax for Penney retirees.

    But, yeah, the bottom line for Sears is that it went from being the store where America shopped to the store where few people went.
     
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  8. HallGator

    HallGator Senile Mod Moderator VIP Member

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    I loved the downtown Jax Sears when I was a kid. We would go over there because I had to see an eye specialist and the highlight of the trip was when we ate at Morrison's and then went over to Sears. You would walk in the door and there was that big old candy counter that was kind of circular looking. For those of you who remember, the toy dept was in the basement.
     
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  9. OklahomaGator

    OklahomaGator Jedi Administrator Moderator VIP Member

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    I remember the Sears Christmas catalog.
     
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  10. gator_lawyer

    gator_lawyer Premium Member

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    I'll call BS on that.
     
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  11. GatorLegend

    GatorLegend VIP Member

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    Hall, I remember that candy counter well as a kid!
     
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  12. GatorNorth

    GatorNorth Premium Member Premium Member

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    Eddie Lampert has carefully orchestrated sears demise to his benefit and to the detriment of shareholders.
     
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  13. Spurffelbow833

    Spurffelbow833 GC Hall of Fame

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    After you got the new catalogue, the old one came in handy, too. It was a real piece of Americana like Route 66 and Norman Rockwell paintings.
     
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  14. gatorknights

    gatorknights GC Hall of Fame

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    Anyone remember the Sears Craftsman houses from the 10's, 20's and 30's? There are a bunch of them in Orlando (not Altamonte and Longwood) I always thought they were pretty cool.

    Sears Catalog Home - Wikipedia
     
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  15. RayGator

    RayGator Moderator VIP Member

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    Yeah, and I sure know what you’re referring to. :)

    My Mom was a “coal miner’s daughter” in Kentucky. Many years ago when she was still here and health was pretty good, I took her on a little trip pretty much along the lines of her memories she wanted to see one more time. Talk about a place being way off the main road, like Route 66. Their shack had no electric and no inside plumbing. But they had their own “out house”. And she would mention, as some of older brothers and sisters knew, about that “out house” and what an old Sears Catalogue was used for. :)
     
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  16. gatorknights

    gatorknights GC Hall of Fame

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    So that's what those were for at the cabin up at the lake when I was a kid...I always wondered.
     
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  17. RayGator

    RayGator Moderator VIP Member

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    And now you know. :)
     
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  18. tegator80

    tegator80 GC Hall of Fame

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    I think Sears, and Montgomery Ward, fit the persona of a US that no longer exists. It was simple, working class goods with a sense of pride and service. Then we decided it was "boring" and flash was good. They don't do flash and even if they could muster something, others can do it much better.

    The department store concept is dead. They are just taking longer to die than what the pundits have predicted. Same as Penney's. To me the pension is a smokescreen, even though it is a heavy weight.
     
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  19. gatorknights

    gatorknights GC Hall of Fame

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    I think that customer expectations and preferences these days do not fit their business model, and they have not adjusted fast enough.
     
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  20. demosthenes

    demosthenes Premium Member

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    Yes, much has been written about his leadership at Sears. Incompetence or malfeasance?

    Eddie Lampert Just Can't Stop Picking At Sears' Carcass