Sears Fears: The Final Days of Sears & Kmart, 2019

cjd
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Re: The Final Days of Sears & Kmart, 2019

Post by cjd » January 9th, 2019, 3:53 pm

Super S wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 6:53 pm
arizonaguy wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 10:57 am
reymann wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 10:52 am
another band-aid solution to keep sears alive. it maybe buys only a few more months at most to keep sears alive.
Absolutely. I don't see any way that the chain makes it to 2020 in any way close to its current form.

I can see Sears.com and Kmart.com becoming online retailers under different ownership at some point, but that's it.
I am absolutely shocked that ANY offer from Lampert is being considered at this point. All he has proven is that he has the ability to destroy two once-great retailers. Sears and Kmart are already gone from many areas, and the remaining stores leave a lot to be desired.

Montgomery Ward came back as an online retailer, but it hasn't really made much of any impact.
They might as well not even entertain any offers. Like said, it's a short term bandaid. The same thing will happen with numerous stores closing every few months and then they'll be out of money again. I'd like to see Fast Eddie get embarrassed with a "WHY?" or "NO!" answer. What a joke.

I can't really figure out what the online MW is supposed to be. Kind of cool seeing the logo on modern stuff, but it's so crazy expensive. Who really buys anything from them? Seems sort of like an online Rent King or Rent A Center, where they charge ridiculously high prices and interest rates for people that have bad credit.

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Re: Sears Fears: The Final Days of Sears & Kmart, 2019

Post by mbz321 » January 11th, 2019, 9:18 pm

All I know if I was a liquidator, I'm not sure if it would be worth it to even bid on Sears/Kmart...there is less and less to liquidate as the days go by. My nearest Kmart is a top-performing location and is so void of merchandise at this point, I give them another month or two at absolute best (if this drawn-out Sears saga continues past the next few weeks) until the store is empty. Almost all vendor deliveries seemed to have stopped. The only areas that look full are clothing/shoes and for some reason, toys (likely only because they ordered in excess for the holidays and the demand wasn't there). A lot of remaining items have had their prices increased significantly, are expired or close to expiring, are strange off-brands, or a combination of the three. The nearest Sears is in about the same condition.

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Re: Sears Fears: The Final Days of Sears & Kmart, 2019

Post by storewanderer » January 11th, 2019, 11:28 pm

mbz321 wrote:
January 11th, 2019, 9:18 pm
All I know if I was a liquidator, I'm not sure if it would be worth it to even bid on Sears/Kmart...there is less and less to liquidate as the days go by. My nearest Kmart is a top-performing location and is so void of merchandise at this point, I give them another month or two at absolute best (if this drawn-out Sears saga continues past the next few weeks) until the store is empty. Almost all vendor deliveries seemed to have stopped. The only areas that look full are clothing/shoes and for some reason, toys (likely only because they ordered in excess for the holidays and the demand wasn't there). A lot of remaining items have had their prices increased significantly, are expired or close to expiring, are strange off-brands, or a combination of the three. The nearest Sears is in about the same condition.
I agree with you here, the Kmarts look absolutely dire at this point. I cannot even believe how bad this is. Conditions never got this bad or even close to this during the first bankruptcy, even during the weeks following when Fleming cut the stores off.

The liquidators will get enough merchandise in to make it work. They will bring in their own goods if they have to in order to make the liquidation sales profitable. They have taken on many distressed chains in the past in a similar situation.

Also it appears the duration of Sears/Kmart liquidation sales (based on the last two store closure groups announced in 2018) has been cut to about 65 days instead of the previous 90 day model so if there is less time, then that means they need less merchandise too.

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Re: Sears Fears: The Final Days of Sears & Kmart, 2019

Post by mbz321 » January 12th, 2019, 7:16 am

storewanderer wrote:
January 11th, 2019, 11:28 pm


I agree with you here, the Kmarts look absolutely dire at this point. I cannot even believe how bad this is. Conditions never got this bad or even close to this during the first bankruptcy, even during the weeks following when Fleming cut the stores off.

I kind of wonder in a way of this was done purposely by Lampert.....combined with the various ongoing freecash shopyourway deals to move merchandise out(the only reason why I've bothered going to Kmart at all in the last few years), maybe his goal was to make the remaining stores look so unappealing that they would scare away bids other than his own. I just can't remember any other chain that has gone bankrupt looking so empty before liquidation.

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Re: Sears Fears: The Final Days of Sears & Kmart, 2019

Post by storewanderer » January 13th, 2019, 12:12 am

I decided to drive down to Bishop, CA today to take a look at the Kmart there. This was one of the last new build Kmarts to open, right before the first bankruptcy.

Walking in the place it looks fine. All of the lights are on, clean entryway, no homeless people loitering in front of it (they seem to hang out in front of the Vons next door instead). Lots of clothes racks. Little Caesars is even still open inside.

Moving around the store as you go around the center aisles there are 4-way displays along the entire back center aisle but those are mostly filled with large plastic objects not actual merchandise (would be better off just removing them). Areas like tools and automotive are about 50% stocked at best. The drugstore type area was probably 80% stocked. The grocery area is interesting with NO name brand soda (they do have some Smart Sense Diet Root Beer) of any kind. Ouch. They did have Lay's products in the chip area though, and a ton of Gatorade and water spread around the food area in an odd manner on multiple aisles. Looking at the back walls with high shelves, a lot of those shelves are either empty or lightly stocked. The garden area still had a lot of Christmas items available. The entire store was clean and neat. Shelves were organized, etc.

What really struck me was when I went up to pay. It was a Saturday afternoon and at the moment I went up to pay, no other customers were up there paying at all. Some additional activity started happening at the registers a few minutes later, but it was odd to see them idle at all during this time. I recall walking out of this store a couple years ago on a Saturday afternoon without buying anything due to seeing such long lines at the 3 or so open registers. I thought maybe this was a quiet shopping day in Bishop. But after Kmart I went to the Vons next door and it was quite busy with 4-5 registers open and steady traffic the whole time I was in there, which was a while, looking at its eye dropping prices like $7.99 Dial Body Wash, 3.99 dozen store brand Large standard eggs (on sale at 2.99), and 0.89 Friskies Cat Food. The Smart & Final in front of the Kmart and Vons was also very crowded and busy (though, a very small store).

When paying, the register generated a "HAPPY NEW YEAR $5 off $10 PURCHASE VALID NEXT 2 DAYS" coupon. This is the first coupon I've seen since the bankruptcy filing.

I am sure this is one of Kmart's best performing stores and to me this store looks finished due to the merchandise situation.

This is a bit of an odd situation. Since the JC Penney in Bishop closed last year, Kmart is really the only major store in Bishop with clothing or home products available. Wal Marts are 2.5 hours in either direction. There isn't even a Dollar General or Family Dollar there. There are two empty large retail buildings in Bishop (the old 70's Group 9 Kmart of about 65k square feet in a great location which last I heard Vons was paying the rent on to keep a competitor out and has been vacant ever since the new Kmart opened, and the former Vons on the northeast side of Bishop which closed when the new Vons opened; not sure what the status on that building is but it is a lousy location).

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Re: Sears Fears: The Final Days of Sears & Kmart, 2019

Post by Super S » January 16th, 2019, 9:42 am

It looks like Lampert gets more time to drag this company down:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/sears-to-s ... 1547636823

Spending money on Sears at this point is like spending money to keep an old dog alive. There comes a point when you know the end is inevitable and you just have to let go.

Personally, I would rather see a quick liquidation than continuing a long, drawn-out liquidation.

Sears is already gone from much of middle America and there isn't much incentive to shop there when the stores that are left are in odd places like Aberdeen, WA that people aren't going to go out of their way to visit. Sears is already perceived as dead to many Americans. It's time to pull the plug.

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Re: Sears Fears: The Final Days of Sears & Kmart, 2019

Post by pseudo3d » January 16th, 2019, 3:33 pm

Super S wrote:
January 16th, 2019, 9:42 am
It looks like Lampert gets more time to drag this company down:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/sears-to-s ... 1547636823

Spending money on Sears at this point is like spending money to keep an old dog alive. There comes a point when you know the end is inevitable and you just have to let go.

Personally, I would rather see a quick liquidation than continuing a long, drawn-out liquidation.

Sears is already gone from much of middle America and there isn't much incentive to shop there when the stores that are left are in odd places like Aberdeen, WA that people aren't going to go out of their way to visit. Sears is already perceived as dead to many Americans. It's time to pull the plug.
Everyone in the company has lost confidence in Lampert at this point. The buyout still has to be approved by a bankruptcy judge.

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Re: Sears Fears: The Final Days of Sears & Kmart, 2019

Post by storewanderer » February 5th, 2019, 10:29 pm

I've been following this much too closely and this is dragging out still. It seems there is a major bend on the part of the Judge to approve Eddie's bid to keep the company open. The number that will continue employment has lately been quoted at 45,000 (it was 50,000 a couple weeks ago) if Eddie's bid is accepted.

But what gets me here is now it has surfaced that if Eddie's bid is accepted, he is already saying that they will close 3 Kmart Stores per month for the next year. I assume these are all lease expirations or something. What kind of a "go forward" plan is this? Typically you dump everything you don't want during the bankruptcy, not after...

There is also some mention of opening "smaller format" stores but not much specifics about exactly what that is going to be, or what banner it will be under.

Cannot believe this is still dragging out. Eventually the point will hit the company no longer even has the cash to keep the doors open...

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Re: Sears Fears: The Final Days of Sears & Kmart, 2019

Post by pseudo3d » February 6th, 2019, 7:25 am

storewanderer wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 10:29 pm

There is also some mention of opening "smaller format" stores but not much specifics about exactly what that is going to be, or what banner it will be under.
Mattress/appliance stores if I recall, there was an article on it less than a year ago. It's already doomed, I agree its time to cut life support and go after Lampert on civil charges.

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Re: Sears Fears: The Final Days of Sears & Kmart, 2019

Post by BillyGr » February 6th, 2019, 12:44 pm

storewanderer wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 10:29 pm
But what gets me here is now it has surfaced that if Eddie's bid is accepted, he is already saying that they will close 3 Kmart Stores per month for the next year. I assume these are all lease expirations or something. What kind of a "go forward" plan is this? Typically you dump everything you don't want during the bankruptcy, not after...
It may only make sense if these are stores that have long term leases - given their bigger expansion in the late 70's (possibly into the early 80's), there is a chance they did 40 year leases, which likely means those stores are paying far less than current rates.

Thus, keeping them until the lease expires rather than closing in bankruptcy makes sense (as they are profitable with fairly small sales, due to the low cost, and they don't need to close now to be able to cancel the soon to end leases) but then if they renewed at current rates would immediately make them losers, so that's why they close them quickly.

It does seem silly for that short extra time, but if they are trying to wring out every possible dollar...

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