"There's very little value in the brand. I mean some of the assets they had in terms of Craftsmen and other really iconic brands that were in the store, I mean, they were very successful with those and yet with the lack of support, with the business relationships they've tried to kind of parse out could we sell this brand in this store. Can we emphasize this but not that. It's been done so poorly that people don't even think about what were once these iconic Sears brands."
"It's not really a place where people have been buying lots of things for a long time. In fact, probably a decade ago when Kmart and Sears merged. I remember saying two halves don't make a hole. And it's really been that kind of gradual dripping away of of a business."
"I think in the end it's about relevance. And there are so many other places people can shop for so many of the things that Sears and Kmart carry that this is just plain that literal dripping away of what were iconic properties."
"And then of course had the digital revolution. Which they were so far behind. And yet, that's how, you know, Sears the big book the catalog the direct to consumer proposition which they and J.C. Penney created. They never stayed up with it. They never understood that that's where even their more lower income shoppers or more shoppers looking for a better price were."
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Date and Location unknown
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9. Various, newsreel footage of the Sears catalogue
"So, so many of the dynamics of the way people choose to live their life and shop today. They were still living in a very old world. And I think on top of that. I think the owners the management the board were very real estate focused."
"The senior management the ownership the board were just not willing to either invest in anything beyond the real estate or even in the real estate. Not willing to be marketing driven in an age where shoppers can buy anything anywhere to build a brand again."
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Lincoln Park, Michigan – 31 May 2018
13. Various of the exterior of a Sears store in suburban Detroit
Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, buckling under its massive debt load and staggering losses.
The company has struggled with outdated stores and complaints about customer service.
That's in contrast with chains like Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Macy's, which have been enjoying stronger sales as they benefit from a robust economy and efforts to make the shopping experience more inviting.
Since turning its last annual profit in 2012, Sears has been buried by more than $6 billion in losses.
Sears Holdings, which operates both Sears and Kmart stores, will close 142 unprofitable stores near the end of the year, with liquidation sales expected to begin shortly.
That's in addition to the closure of 46 unprofitable stores that had already been announced.
Sears' stock has fallen from about $6 over the past year to below the minimum $1 level that Nasdaq stocks are required to trade in order to remain on the stock index.
In April 2007, shares were trading at around $141. The company, which once had 350,000 workers, has seen its workforce shrink to fewer than 90,000 people as of earlier this year.
As of May, it had fewer than 900 stores, down from a 2012 peak of 4,000.
"There's very little value in the brand," Wendy Liebmann, CEO, WSL Strategic Retail said.
Edward S. Lampert has stepped down as CEO but will remain chairman of the board. A new Office of the CEO will be responsible for managing day-to-day operations.
"The senior management, the ownership, the board were just not willing to either invest in anything beyond the real estate or even in the real estate. Not willing to be marketing driven in an age where shoppers can buy anything anywhere to build a brand again. A retail brand," Liebmann said.
Sears, which once dominated the American landscape, joins a growing list of retailers that have filed for bankruptcy or liquidated in the last two years amid a fierce competitive climate.
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