Thread regarding Sears layoffs

Lampert Finally Issues Veiled Imminent Bankruptcy Warning

If Sears cannot refinance its current debt and secure additional financing soon, all options will be on the table, warned Sears CEO Eddie Lampert today in a company blog post.

Wall Street analysts say such language is indicative of an imminent bankruptcy warning declaration and possible liquidation of assets to protect shareholder interests. Sears sales were down at least 15% over the holidays at a time when other retailers made impressive sales gains.

Few expect Sears or its owned affiliate Kmart to survive 2018, and many analysts predict a bankruptcy filing could come within one or two months. Most expect vendors will move swiftly to cancel or reduce Sears’ credit line to acquire merchandise on today’s news, likely only to hasten the iconic Sears’ downfall.

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Yeah, does Sears even carry TVs anymore? Been a while since I've seen any.

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-- the only difference is that Best Buy has stuff someone want to buy.

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Best Buy said the same sh-- right before they went under too... oh, wait, they turned it around

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Oh wow. A post that's both well written and provides some level of evidence to back up its claim. that's pretty rare.

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Okay it has been this way since Eddie took over....initially stock shot up but shortly thereafter store closings, etc. All I am saying is we all know the end goal for Eddie is far fewer stores. It doesn't make it right or fair for stores to close, but once again for about 20 years we have been facing tough times....even before Eddie. I think everyone that works for Sears Holdings knows this. Each person has his/her own reasons for staying.....either she/he thinks she is paid well, feels comfortable working here or something else. All I am saying is this has been going on for years.

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If you read Lampert's blog, pay careful attention to this:

"This blog contains forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements about our strategic restructuring program and anticipated results of strategic initiatives, our transformation through our integrated retail strategy, our plans to redeploy and reconfigure our assets, our plans to market and sell a portion of our existing real estate assets, our liquidity, our ability to exercise financial flexibility as we meet our obligations and pursue possible strategic transactions, and other statements that describe the Company’s plans. Whenever used, words such as “will,” “expects,” “intends,” and other terms of similar meaning are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements, including these, are based on the current beliefs and expectations of our management and are subject to significant risks, assumptions and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements."

In plain English, this means that Lampert is asserting that his blog does not necessarily include factual or knowingly true and complete statements. Under securities laws, corporate executives of a public company many not, under penalty of law, make materially false or misleading statements to shareholders. If a company executive knows one thing to be true but then posts a blog entry that says the opposite, or withholds material information that is likely to change the outcome in ways investors are entitled to know, they can be prosecuted. To avoid this, disclaimers are used to warn investors they should not accept the representations made in a statement as anything other than the wishes and hopes of the author, and that they may know material facts they are not disclosing which could impact on the outcome,

In other words, Lampert could paint the Titanic and declare it a brand new ship without disclosing it hit an iceberg and is in the process of sinking.

Where Lampert cannot mislead, lie, or exclude materially relevant information is in his filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That is where we learn one of the board members who elected to leave last November has liquidated over a million shares of Sears Holding stock and appears to be in the process of gradually dumping all of his shares.

His filings indicate Sears' viability is now totally dependent on securing additional ongoing loans to cover payments on long standing debt, to cover operating expenses, and maintain liquidity. His scaling back on stores is saving the company money, but also costing it nearly $1 billion annually in revenue. If Sears dumped stores when it was still in relatively good financial shape, it would have definitely benefited from reduced overhead and administrative and labor expenses, giving it more free cash on hand. But now the store closures are a tool to try and cut costs Sears could not pay without borrowing even more money. This means it is not actually transforming the business to get out of the hole it is in, it is responding to the financial reality Sears cannot afford to keep those stores (and many others) open - transformation or not. Sears' financial condition is driving these changes, not the 21st century retail landscape, as Lampert likes to say again and again.

If you look at companies like Radio Shack and Montgomery Ward, they were writing some of the same things as those companies dwindled into bankruptcy court. Store closures, transforming the business, reorienting the business to serve a different clientele... Wall Street has heard it all before. Window dressing cannot change what will happen to Sears and Kmart. It's only a matter of exactly when the curtain will finally fall. From the looks of his blog, it will certainly be this year.

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What do you think Lampert was saying when he said all measures would be on the table to protect shareholder value? It's classic Wall Street speak for bankruptcy to keep creditors from tying up or seizing assets.

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Sears gave dormant customers more than $100 in winback FREECASH this holiday season -- free money, and even that did not work. Sales down 16-17% despite free fu! money and that doesn't work but an upgrade to the SYW platform will? You are high! We cannot even bribe customers back. Sears and Kmart only get 11% of their revenue from online sales despite years and years of enhancing SYWR. People are flocking to Target, Amazon, and Walmart online and they aren't giving away free money.

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Cmy, get your head out of the sand. There is nothing BUT doom and gloom surrounding this company. Do you think people are going to want to talk about anything else when their livelihoods are in the balance? Grow up.

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“All Drama Queens”, “nothing to see here.” Please tell me this is sarcasm! SHLD has over $4B in debt, is closing stores hand over fist, and by the way, did you see holiday sales!!! November - December comp store sales down 16 - 17%!!! It is over!

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Precisely.

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Bankruptcy was not mentioned, nor was that what he was talking about.

Expect major upgrades in the SYW platform in the very near future. The 200Mil in savings it specifically said "would not come from store closings" you guys are all frigging drama queens.

Everything is gonna be fine, nothing to see here, move along.

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And also Sears. And Kenmore, Diehard, etc.

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Think Eddie needs to consider dumping Kmart before it’s too late. Very little time left.

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Mad money. Buy buy buy Jim cramer.

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With Eddie’s help, SHC MAY have recovered. But our reputation is just too damaged. Customer service went completely out the window at every single level. Stores, service, call centers. Sears and JCP can’t even compare anymore. Walk into a JCP you see a clean and bright and organized store with associates clearly visible. Sears is basically the opposite. With more people shopping online, stores need to provide great customer experiences to make a trip worth it. Sears gave that idea up years ago.

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SHLD had a chance with the good economy to have a decent (not great or even good) quarter. Macy's and JC Penney had sales GROWTH. How is Sears and Kmart still posting double digit same store declines with so much of the "unprofitable stores" closed or closing? It's mind boggling how the business has just gone off a cliff the past two years.

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sales 16-17% as competitors up 3-7%

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Funny. I am not in denial of anything. Just enough of the doom and gloom. I think some relish in DRAMA.

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Eddie is poising himself to be able to say HE did everything he could but the stores just couldn’t pull it off.

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Sears previously had hoped for achieving neutral Ebitda in 2018. Looking at these numbers, "we all know that's not going to happen," Tawil said. "But you've got to give [Lampert] credit for putting his money where his mouth is. Lampert definitely gets the prize for pulling off the greatest liquidation in history."

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. “Made more money...”. What denial pill are you taking? They didn’t make more money period. Sales were done and now their debts are overwhelming.

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Nice drama again. Yes Sears sales were down because Sears pulled out of basically all print/TV ads. Perhaps they made more money in the end by doing so? That is what you need to look at.

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It appears a good chunk of the $200 million in cost savings are going to come from a major reduction in workforce and trimming store hours. One of Sears’ third party benefits management companies bid goodbye today, which suggests if there are very few full time positions left, there are no benefits to manage.

The rest will come from additional store closings not yet announced.

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CNN seems to agree bankruptcy is coming. Folks need to read between the lines like investors are. Vendors are going to flee very fast now.

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