Editor’s note: More bad news for Sears!
NEW YORK (AP) — Sears said Thursday that it’s unloading some of its profit-busting stores, but the retailer fell short of revealing how it plans to woo shoppers back into its remaining ones.
Investors have long speculated that the troubled retailer could sell off its massive real estate holdings to generate extra cash. But industry watchers say that will do little to solve Sears’ main problem: Rivals have been able to lure customers away from the chain because of its drab stores and unexciting merchandise.
“The image is atrocious. The stores are old and they’re run down. They don’t look like a nice place to visit,” said Ron Friedman, a partner in the retail and consumer products industry group of accounting firm Marcum, LLP in New York. “I don’t think that the Sears we see today can be around from a year today. It has to change.”
As part of a plan to turnaround the company, Sears Holdings Corp., based in Hoffman Estates, Ill., said on Thursday that it will spin off of its smaller Hometown and Outlet stores as well as some hardware stores in a deal expected to raise $400 million to $500 million.