Funny thing, but last May when Sears Holdings CEO Edward Lampert was telling WWD that he was looking to grow Lands' End from a $3 billion business to a $5 billion global brand, he didn't say the plan to accomplish that included spinning the company off. Yesterday, Sears Holdings made known that a spin-off was in fact in the works.
A press release, which included news that Sears is also looking to offload Sears Auto Centers, said the two companies would now be able "to pursue their own strategic opportunities, optimize their capital structures, attract talent, and allocate capital in a more focused manner while bringing our business unit structure to life outside of the Sears Holdings portfolio."
(Interpretation: Mr. Lampert has failed and is looking for ways to raise cash.)
ISI analyst Matt McGinley told Reuters he believes the value of Sears Holdings is "significantly overstated." He added, "Anytime that they sell their best assets off, it is not done from a position of strength or from the position of a retailer that will endure or be around for a long period of time."
Morningstar analyst Paul Swinand told Bloomberg News, "They have cut the fat. Now they are cutting in the muscle."
How would you rate Lands' End's chances for success after it is spun off by Sears Holdings?