Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Last Call For K-Mart
I wish the headline was being clever, but that's pretty much it.
CNN Money tells what we've known for a long time, K-Mart is circling the drain. The number of stores have fallen dramatically and revenue is down. After its "rescue" some fifteen years ago, K-Mart has hovered in an uncomfortable shrinking state. Experts are calling out CEO Eddie Lampert, some going to far as to call his management an "asset strip" and saying he has run the business into the ground.
Whether intentional or from gross negligence, in either case K-Mart cannot hold out for much longer. Which begs the question, as brands fall and are born in incredibly rapid pace, what will become of the next retail generation? Will there be a Macy's or a Sears or even an Old Navy for our kids to buy bad t-shirts in an attempt to reclaim their childhood? What will it be like when brands come and go in 5 year cycles, and 20 years of those have passed?
Target is growing as K-Mart is shrinking. Any not-Wal-Mart choice is going to attract a huge shopping base and bring the direct wrath of the #1 retailer in the world. When the Wal-Mart legacy finally finds a competitor who is willing to limp along and play second banana for some concessions, the American loser stands to lose mightily.
It's a sad day to see K-Mart go and Sears wheeze and struggle. Not just because of warm and fuzzy feelings, but because once upon a time they were major players in the game, back when the game was good.