What Is Lampert's Next Sears Move?
It can be argued that hedge-fund manager Edward Lampert always ran Sears, but now that he has placed himself in the position of chief executive, he is officially in charge of the company's day-to-day operations. Since being chairman after the merger of Sears and Kmart in 2005, there have been a flurry of CEOs running Sears Holdings, the last being Lou D'Ambrosio, a telecom executive who had spent years at IBM.
In fact, as this article points out, Sears has never really had a "retail person" head the company since Lampert has run the show. And now a someone with incredible investment experience, but little on-the-ground retail background is running the show.
So how should landlords with Sears or Kmart stores feel about this? It's hard to see how things are going to change. Sales have consistently lagged since the two merged, and losses continue.
Meanwhile there have been small bursts of store closings and parts of the business being sold off. Wouldn't it at least make sense to try to bring an expert retail executive in there to try to change things and have a go at making the enterprise a viable operation if the real estate isn't going to be outright disposed of?
Or is this brand bound to have trouble based on competition from a crowded marketplace that includes Walmart, Target and Amazon.com, no matter what happens?