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50 Reasons Sears Is Dying

  • Let's not dance around it, Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) is an utter disaster.

    The company's CEO and chairman, Eddie Lampert, announced in a blog post on Friday that the company is shuttering more locations. It is closing eight Sears and 35 Kmart stores that were unprofitable in early October, according to the announcement.

    "We have fought hard for many years to return unprofitable stores to a competitive position and to preserve jobs and, as a result, we had to absorb corresponding losses in the process," Lampert said in the statement.

    If you've ever gone into a Sears or Kmart store, you will likely understand why the retailer's same-store sales have plunged in 11 out of the last 12 quarters and why it has failed to turn a profit in the past 29 out of 37 quarters. It's surprising Sears has managed to turn a profit in even eight out of the last 37 quarters.

    Lampert, who has recently quieted down from a string of Trump-like rants he went on against the media, appears to have an unrealistic view that the retailer is not in fact doomed to the same fate its Canadian sister succumbed to - bankruptcy.

    "If you can find someone with something positive to say about Sears, you are talking with an employee of Lampert," former Sears Canada CEO Mark A. Cohen said in an interview with TheStreet's Michelle Lodge.

    In 2016 alone, Sears wiped out $1.6 billion of its own cash and, according to financial analyst Brian Sheehy of Iszo Capital, the retailer is currently burning through $189 million in cash a month. Per Sheehy's calculations, Sears could run out of cash shortly.

    TheStreet's consumer team found 50 reasons Sears Holdings is failing. Here they are.

  • Stock Crash

    Over the past 10 years, Sears' shares have tanked nearly 95% from a high of $147.31 on April 17, 2007. It is down more than 6% in 2017 alone.

    That's a ton of red ink for investors. What's left of them....

  • Stores Shuttering

    Every few months, news hits that the company is closing more Sears and Kmart locations. This year, the company has said it is closing 269 stores.

    Meanwhile, Walmart and dollars stores such as Dollar Tree are making acquisitions and opening new locations.

  • Losing Sales

    The company's same-store sales have declined in 11 of the past 12 quarters.

  • The company has failed to turn a profit in 29 of the past 37 quarters.
  • Drained Its Resources

    Sears Holdings spent $5.8 billion buying back shares from 2005 to 2010, draining the company's capital. Now, it has a major cash flow problem.

  • Low on Cash

    Sears burned through $1.6 billion in cash in 2016, and Fitch Ratings said it expects the company to burn through another $1.8 billion in 2017. As a result, Fitch estimates Sears will have to raise approximately $2 billion in liquidity in 2017, but it is running out of sources to find that money.

  • Loaded With Debt

    Sears has $2.8 billion in high yield bonds and institutional term loans coming due in the next few years, and with a low cash flow, that will be challenging to pay back.

  • Lampert Who?

    CEO and chairman Eddie Lampert is rarely seen in public, often avoids the media and lacks public social media accounts. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

  • Have You Read the Horror Stories?

    From allegedly rude employees to poor customer service, even loyal customers have lost trust in the company.

  • Not Where Young People Are

    Young people are leaving suburban...


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