Did Sears Just Celebrate Its Final Black Friday?

(This column originally appeared at 2:42 p.m. ET on Real Money, our premium site for active investors. To get great content like this from Jim Cramer and other Real Money columnists even earlier in the trading day, click here.)

If this was Sears' final Black Friday, it certainly didn't make it one to remember.

Kmart -- which has opened for over 20 straight years on Thanksgiving Day -- saw sparse crowds at several locations TheStreet toured in Long Island, N.Y. Most folks in the store were picking up last-minute items for their Thanksgiving Day dinner table, rather than the buy-one-get-one-free coats and sweaters Kmart had on offer. Kmart's electronics and toy sections were devoid of the deal-seekers that typically come out in force on Black Friday. And most glaringly, millennial shoppers -- which have come in droves to malls and discount stores so far this holiday season to snap up salivating discounts on TVs and apparel -- were virtually nowhere to be found.

"Walmart (WMT) has better deals," said one shopper TheStreet spoke with while waiting in line for the opening of a Kmart store. Another said she thought Best Buy (BBY) and Target (TGT) had better selections than Kmart in electronics and toys. Kmart's traffic remained weak straight on through the weekend, per TheStreet's store visits.

Traffic wasn't much better over the four-day holiday weekend at Sears (SHLD) stores, as consumers snapped up better deals on apparel at J.C. Penney (JCP) and Macy's (M) and at Best Buy for electronics (see tweets below).

What looks to be another horrible start to the shopping season for Sears could make its already precarious financial situation that much more worrisome in early 2017.

Kmart's second-quarter same-store sales fell 3.3%, representing the seventh straight quarterly decline. Sales were pressed in some of Kmart's most important categories, such as pharmacy, groceries and consumer electronics.

Year to date, Kmart's operating loss is a staggering $125 million. Last year, Kmart produced an operating loss of $292 million compared to a loss of $422 million in the prior year. The retail chain -- known for its blue light special sales -- hasn't produced an operating profit since 2012, when it delivered a paltry $5 million.
 
As for Sears, it notched its eighth consecutive same-store sales decline in the second quarter as sales fell by 7%. Weakness was felt across the board for Sears, with home appliances, apparel, cosmetics and footwear all showing declines.
 
With the losses continuing to pile up -- and sources of cash drying up -- ratings agency Fitch said recently that Sears has "significant default risk" within the next 12 to 24 months.
 
Here are TheStreet's photos from various Kmart and Sears store visits during the Thanksgiving weekend. Sad sights indeed.
 

About 600 people showed up at this JC Penney early #thanksgiving opening $JCP pic.twitter.com/FFaaOqHcdb

- Brian Sozzi (@BrianSozzi) November 24, 2016

Go home -- GoPro pulled its new Karma drone due to a defect #blackfriday pic.twitter.com/ZK4Zq3qmwu

- Brian Sozzi (@BrianSozzi) November 24, 2016
 
Sears
 

The cute old lady in the background is wearing a red Sears security guard vest. Clearly, she must be a black belt #BlackFriday pic.twitter.com/Hv9HWkKkYa

- Brian Sozzi (@BrianSozzi) November 25, 2016

#BlackFriday crowds descend on Sears. pic.twitter.com/8lLx8arNEi

- Brian Sozzi (@BrianSozzi) November 25, 2016
 
Kmart
 

Still trying to find people at Kmart #blackfriday https://t.co/26kqn7FwQd pic.twitter.com/gCthVQBxYw

- Brian Sozzi (@BrianSozzi) November 24, 2016
 

Day two: still searching for people at Kmart #blackfriday pic.twitter.com/uirEgFW0mo

- Brian Sozzi (@BrianSozzi) November 25, 2016

Still have never heard one of those Blue Light Special Kmart alarms go off ��#blackfriday pic.twitter.com/Yt9I5wupf2

- Brian Sozzi (@BrianSozzi) November 24, 2016

Kmart security. Why bother, nobody is here. #Thanksgiving pic.twitter.com/DSFPbUGDcA

- Brian Sozzi (@BrianSozzi) November 24, 2016

Dead as fk at Kmart on their #Thanksgiving opening -- worse than 2015 $SHLD pic.twitter.com/mw9vIyS3pu

- Brian Sozzi (@BrianSozzi) November 24, 2016

Kmart sees biggest crowds of year on #thanksgiving pic.twitter.com/77uQuzxau0

- Brian Sozzi (@BrianSozzi) November 24, 2016
 

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