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.