Lampert does not get to use Sears to fuel his hedge fund any more. Company is going to liquidate everything. Nobody else put in any bids, and I don't blame them; the last decade of neglect has destroyed the brand.
Something just digested in my head:
But Lampert was battling a national decline in the department store industry, as shoppers abandoned the mall and favored casual over formal wear. Department stores accounted for 14.5 percent of all North American retail purchases in 1985 but only 4.3 percent last year, according to Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail. Sears' peers, like Bon-Ton and Mervyn's, whittled away, while rivals like Macy's and Kohl's poured money into their businesses to be among the ones left standing.
People are still buying shit in stores; online sales are some 10%-14% of all retail. People are not buying shit IN MALLS You had an entire generation of people who were treated like shit by Mall 'security' and seen as a problem, then golly, almost like actions have consequences, that generation told you go get fucked when it had disposable income. The kids of that generation have a trillion dollars in college debt they can never get rid of, and a broken housing market, and a broken health care system, so then have no money and have to shop online to save a buck here and there.
Malls suck. Malls have sucked my whole life; from when we were chased out in the days before a malls was an entertainment destination, to the shit stores, the "specialty" shops that always felt as if they were run by trophy wives and trust fund kids who did not care if the store made money, to the management not realizing that kids in malls spend cash. Not a lot, but they do spend money. Add in traffic, parking, higher prices, and now in the age of downsizing no help and empty shelves, no wonder malls are dying.
Sears is dead because they are attached to dying malls, massive edifices that refused to modernize to save themselves in time. KMart is dying because it is attached to Sears.
Two dead malls in town are being bulldozed and turned into livable space. One is going to be 500-600 apartments/homes. The freeways are there, the mass transit is there and my hope is that this works at the other space that is in the process of deciding how it wants to die and how quickly. The only malls working, as we have talked about in the past, are the rich people malls. We have one and it seems to be OK, not amazing, but OK.