Sears Expresses ‘Substantial Doubt’ That It Will Survive, And Its Stock Drops

by MR Magazine Staff

Sears, once a monolith of American retail, says that there is “substantial doubt” that it will be able to keep its doors open. Shares of Sears Holdings Corp. tumbled more than 15% to $7.70 at about 10 a.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday. Sears has been a member of the retail dead pool for years, but until this week the company had not openly acknowledged its tenuous existence, said Ken Perkins, who heads the research firm Retail Metrics. Sears has long maintained that by balancing the sale of key assets while at the same time enticing customers with loyalty programs, it would eventually turn the corner. Yet industry analysts have placed the staggering sums of money that Sears is losing beside the limited number of assets it has left to sell, and concluded that the storied retailer may have reached the point of no return. The company has lost $10.4 billion since 2011, the last year that it made a profit. Excluding charges that can be listed as one-time events, the loss is $4.57 billion, Perkins said, but how the losses are stacked no longer seem to matter. “They’re past the tipping point,” Perkins said. “This is a symbolic acknowledgement of the end of Sears of what we know it to be.” Read more at Los Angeles Times.