Sears’ Seven Decades of Self-Destruction

TĐH: Good lesson on business failure


SIGN OF THE TIMES: A closed Sears location in Nanuet, N.Y., in January.
Photograph by Mike Segar—Reuters

Sears’ Seven Decades of Self-Destruction

Sears’ bankruptcy filing last year sparked torrents of criticism for its current leaders. But the problems that brought down this former Fortune 500 stalwart date way back to the Eisenhower era. Here’s what leaders can learn from an icon’s slow-motion collapse.
May 20, 2019

The kindest media attention Sears has attracted in years arrived in April, when the company announced it was opening three small stores. “The start of a new Sears era? The retailer announces openings, not closings,” read USA Today’s hopeful headline, which echoed others nationwide.

But viewed through a longer lens, the coverage was more pathetic than upbeat. This is what now passes for good news at the onetime colossus of global retailing: three stores, one of them in Alaska, each smaller than owner Eddie Lampert’s house, offering a somewhat puzzling product line consisting mostly of appliances and mattresses. Sears insists this tiny event is the leading edge of a new strategy for becoming “a stronger, more profitable business.” No one else in retailing seems to think it has a chance. “Lampert has never initiated a format that didn’t fail,” notes longtime retail consultant Burt Flickinger. The verdict of consultant Steve Dennis, a former Sears executive: “It will almost certainly amount to zilch, plus or minus bubkes.” Tiếp tục đọc “Sears’ Seven Decades of Self-Destruction”