Speaking of store closings, Sears has had problems for years. Merging its blue-collar brand with an even more downscale brand like Kmart was always an uncomfortable mix. The genius behind the idea was a hedge fund guy, not a retailer. Now shareholders reap the harvest sown by his knowledge gap as Sears is forced to close the bottom 3% of its stores. Sears needs to come to terms with the dominance of Wal-Mart and Target at the extreme low-price end of the retail spectrum and refocus its branding on the middle market where it belongs. The demise of Montgomery Ward last decade should have been a golden opportunity for Sears to cherry-pick some better store locations.
Two retail brands that used to mean something are now in trouble for wandering outside their core demographics. Growing without thinking first can do that to you. How many Quiznos outlets are located in shopping malls with a Sears as the anchor? In an ideal world, there would have been many.
Full disclosure: No positions in any of the companies mentioned above.