Sears, the beleaguered retail giant of yesterday, has been struggling to even maintain the level of business it currently has. It seems like quarter after quarter and year after year the company posts even more pathetic numbers than the year before. If that trend holds up, it could prove to be very difficult for the company to stick around at all.
The news has gotten even worse for Sears reports Fortune.com. What they say is that Sears reported earnings for the quarter that were seventeen percent lower than the same quarter the year before. The company also said that it has plans to sell off as many as 140 of its stores.
This is just the latest blow to Sears which has struggled for a number of years now. Even though Sears has been selling off some of its best performing stores in the last few years to raise money for the rest of its operations, it has mattered little. The company has still see sales decline and customers lose interest.
One of the major shareholders in Sears, the CEO Eddie Lampert, has stated that he has tried to change the company into something that is more focused on its members rather than the physical stores that they still have out there. Still, it has not mattered. The company reported third-quarter sales at $3.7 billion compared to about $5 billion for the same time period the previous year. It is said that about half of that decline can be directly attributed to the store closings.
While many have blamed the online stores for the decline in sales at Sears, that is not the only culprit here. Fortune rightly points out that rivals like Target and Wal-Mart have seen sales increases in recent years. All retail stores have undoubtedly seen declines in their potential sales as a result of online stores, but that is not the answer to why this has happened. In fact, all of those retail stores have online versions of themselves as well where customers could shop if they were so inclined. For many of them, they just do not wish to shop at Sears.
It is a harsh reality for those who have loved Sears all of these years. They were once a dominant player in the retail space, but that space is increasingly crowded, and they have in a lot of ways been removed from their throne as the king of retail stores.