This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

If Sears Went Away Would Anyone Care?

Stocks in this article: SHLD JCP BBY HD

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- News from Sears Holdings (SHLD) on Tuesday that it was considering spinning off Lands' End and possibly selling its Sears Auto Centers suggests that CEO and hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert has more interest in taking the company apart than resurrecting it. If that is indeed the case, would consumers even care?

From the decline in mall shopping to the ramp-up in e-commerce and social media influence, there are profound shifts in the way that consumers, particularly the younger generation, use retail concepts and where they buy certain items. Sears, J.C. Penney (JCP) and other big box retailers have been under attack.

"If Sears failed to exist, where would they go? They're already going there," said Mark Hall, president and founder of Firehouse, a Dallas-based independent advertising agency. "I think people have already found solutions," in the form of specialty stores like Best Buy (BBY), Home Depot (HD) and Kohl's (KSS), for instance, he said.

"Brands are living things. They have to stay active and vibrant. You don't have to reinvent, but boy, you sure have to stay relevant and that requires care and feeding," Hall added.

Sears was either "too slow or too willing to believe that the equity they had in their heritage and ubiquity would see them through a very dynamic shift in the way that people shop and source stuff," he said. "They've been caught a little flat-footed."

At one point, Sears' brands like Craftsman and Kenmore carried great strength but competitors have created just as good, if not better, alternatives. The lack of investment in Sears' stores over the years has further hurt the brand.

Brian Sozzi, CEO and chief equity strategist at Belus Capital Advisors, shared recent pictures after visiting a Sears location, showing just how much the company has deteriorated.

"They're selling their future to survive today, and why are they selling these assets off? It's because they need money to fund inventory next year, they need money to keep their vendors at bay from sticking it to them in terms of prices and cratering the stock which what we have seen in respects to J.C. Penney," Sozzi told TheStreet on Wednesday. "So they're not living for the future, they're living for today."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,651.86 +294.99 1.70%
S&P 500 2,043.16 +30.27 1.50%
NASDAQ 4,723.4150 +79.1030 1.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs