Some Experts Say SEARS Will Be Gone By End of Year
According to CNN Money News, The Wall Street Journal and other financial experts, the future of retail giant SEARS is very much in doubt. Not just closing another round of stores, but the entire chain going the way of Sports Authority and Radio Shack.
Tuesday, the retail giant warned it's investors officially it cannot promise it will stay in business. Sears Holdings, the financial backbone of the company, says it now owes nearly $4.2 billion dollars in debt, up from $3 billion last year. Sears Holdings said there is now "serious doubt" they will be able to survive.
The chain says it's ability to sell it's assets to raise money is limited, because it has to try to uphold and maintain pension plans. In January, the famous Craftsman tool line was sold to Stanley Black and Decker. Now, SEARS is looking to sell off it's legendary Kenmore Appliance and Diehard Battery and Auto Parts lines.
The chain announced plans to close another 150 stores in January of this year, 109 of them old K-Mart stores which were bought when they went under in 2002. It was a bankruptcy merger. Only one of the closing stores, however, is in Washington. It's the Lynnwood SEARS near Seattle.
The K-Mart, Sports Authority, Office Max local Tri-City stores performed well or decently, but were swept away by the tidal wave of national bankruptcy. The same goes for the Columbia Center location of SEARS. It's continued to draw business, BUT if the entire chain goes under, it will too.
SEARS began to show signs of erosion 20 years or more ago due to competition from Walmart, Home Depot, and other growing retailers. Then came competition from online shopping, such as Amazon. It's the same issue being faced by other 'brick and mortar' stores such as Macy's and JC Penney.
How long does it have left? Some experts say SEARS will need to raise $1.5 billion to get through 2017, Forbes Magazine in February said bond traders are predicting they will go out of business in two years, or less.