Lampert vs. Lacy

Discussion
Nov 01, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

It sold off its credit card and NTB tire and battery business so that it could concentrate on its core retail operation and now Sears may be selling off more of its assets so that it can…

A report in the Chicago Sun-Times says the retailer’s largest shareholder, Edward Lampert, who also happens to be the chairman at Kmart, is at odds with Sears’ chief executive Alan Lacy over how best to improve the value of the company.

Many believe Mr. Lampert is pushing for Sears to sell poorly performing locations and may even be seeking the sale of Lands’ End.

Mr. Lacy has been under increasing pressure from shareholders and Wall Street to get things turned around at the retail giant. The company’s third quarter results, as the Sun-Times article points out, were well below even diminished expectations for the retailer prompting some to refer to it as a “debacle.”

Speculation has arisen that Mr. Lampert’s patience with his Sears’ investment may be wearing thin.

Analyst Bill Dreher of Deutsche Bank, wrote in a note to investors, “There is clearly something dramatically challenging inside Sears, and we cannot believe that Lampert will sit idly by.”

Moderator’s Comment: What do you see happening with Sears in the near and mid-term?


The Chicago Sun-Times article pointed to speculation that Vanessa Castagna, who was passed over for the top spot at J.C. Penney, may be brought on
board at Sears to become the company’s president of retail operations or perhaps even replace Alan Lacy.


There’s also some thought the company might sell-off Sears Canada. Of course, we’ve heard that many times over the years without it happening.

George Anderson – Moderator

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