Yes, Sears is still in business.
This American departmental store chain once competed with Amazon, filed for bankruptcy four years ago.
However, in 2022, Sears found a way to prevent its business from dissolving.
It has been over 130 years since Sears began its departmental store business journey. Read the following article to find out how this century-old company went bankrupt.
Does Sears even exist anymore?
As of 2023, Sears is still doing its retailing business. However, the Sears you knew once is no longer the same size in terms of business.
According to BroStocks report, Sears now operates only 17 full-line stores in the USA.
In 1892, Ricard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck began a retailing business in Chicago, Illinois, United States. They named their retailing store Sears. With time, Sears became America’s as well as the world’s largest retail company.
In the 1980s, at its career’s peak point, Sears had around 3500 stores all over the North American continent. However, Sears’s business began to decline at the beginning of the 21st century.
In 2005, America’s discount chain, Kmart, purchased and merged with this chain of departmental stores and formed Sears Holdings. But the strategy of collaborating with another company did not give the desired outcome.
In 2017, Sears Holdings was still the 23rd largest retailer in the United States. However, the number of stores under this company was declining rapidly. In 2018, Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy.
On 16 January 2019, Sears’s parent company won the bankruptcy auction. At that time, Sears Holdings had 425 stores, including 225 Sears stores.
Related Read: How Many Kmarts Are Left
Will Sears run out of business eventually?
Sears is now a sinking ship, and no one can help to prevent it. According to Professor Wimer, Sears is dying a slow death. In a couple of years, Sears will eventually run out of business.
Transformco was in collaboration with Sears Auto. But within December 2021, it sold out the remaining 15 Sears Auto stores in the USA. Therefore, Sears had to move out of the auto industry.
In November 2022, Sears emerged from bankruptcy. However, the damage has been done within four years of bankruptcy.
Though Sears has crawled out of bankruptcy, the debtors were not satisfied. Therefore, on 13 December 2022, the company again filed for bankruptcy to sell out Sears Hometown.
As a result, Sears had to shift its headquarters to a new location. Previously, Sears’s headquarter was in Chicago, called Sears Tower, and is now shifted to Hoffman Estates, Illinois, US.
Anyways, the debt of Sears remains to this date. The drastic fall in the share of this company, as well as the sold-out stores of the collaborated company, such as Transformco, has sealed this company’s fate.
Why did Sears file for bankruptcy?
Several reasons have played the role behind Sears’s bankruptcy. However, the most significant cause behind the company’s filing for bankruptcy is going into debt and reverse revenue generation for years.
As the 21st century came, the world entered a new era of the internet. Companies started to open websites for selling products directly without any third-party vendors.
Besides, big-box retailers, such as Walmart, Amazon, etc., started selling products online proactively. On the other hand, Sears could not step up with the fast-forwarding world.
Also, the newly founded online platforms started to bite out the profits that Sears earned in the 20th century dominantly. As a result, the annual revenue of this company reduced drastically.
In 2016, Sears’s revenue was 16.8 billion dollars less than the previous year. As a result, the stakeholders had to encounter loss, which was bad for the company’s reputation.
Besides the revenue shortage, the former CEO of this company, Eddie Lampert, did not drive this company in the right direction. Some of the corporate-level faults that have sunk this company are listed below:
- Poor management
- Lack of strategy
- Immature employees
- Low-level marketing plans
- Poor leadership
- https://nrf.com/resources/top-retailers/top-100-retailers/top-100-retailers-2017 – Sears, the 23rd largest in the United States (National Retail Federation)
- https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/15/sears-files-for-bankruptcy.html – Sears filing for bankruptcy (CNBC)
- https://edition.cnn.com/2022/11/29/business/sears-last-christmas/index.html – Probable reason behind the fall of Sears (CNN)
- https://www.nj.com/business/2022/11/sears-emerges-from-bankruptcy-with-22-stores-left-heres-where-theyre-located.html – Sears recovering its business (NJ.com)