When Sears Canada declared bankruptcy in 2017, its American counterpart – Sears U.S. – did not. Unlike the Canadian company, Sears U.S. is still in business. The question is, for how long?
In October of 2018, Sears U.S. filed for bankruptcy. But in January of 2019, multiple outletsreported that Sears’ chairman, and largest shareholder, Eddie Lampert, won a bankruptcy auction for Sears, averting liquidation.
At the time of the Sears U.S. bankruptcy filing in October, there were 687 stores and 68,000 workers. At the peak in 2012, Sears had 4,000 stores across the U.S.
Industry analysts say that Sears U.S. is facing the same issues Sears Canada did: aging stores, a lack of focus, and less capital to compete with similar retailers, like Walmart and Target.
Under Lampert’s direction, Sears U.S. has been creating spin-off stores and brands, such as Craftsman. Lampert has been chairman of Sears Holding Corp. since 2005, when he merged the brand with Kmart. He has remained confident that Sears will pull through.
Many aren’t optimistic about Sears U.S.’s chances for survival. The Guardian cites Neil Saunders, the managing director of the research firm GlobalData Retail, who pointed to “management’s failure to understand retail and evolve Sears in a way that would have given the chain a fair chance of survival.”
The retail landscape in the U.S. differs from Canada in several ways. For one thing, e-commerce is a bigger part of the marketspace there.
For another, there is even more competition, with Walmart, Target, and similar stores occupying the same spaces in the retail market that Sears would take.
What do you think – can Sears U.S. be saved or is it just a matter of time? Storesupport Canada helps Canadian manufacturers drive their brand at retail. Learn more about our merchandising solutions today. Call 1-877-421-5081 or visit www.storesupport.ca.