Lands' End spins off of Sears

Sears Officially Spinning Off Lands’ End in April

One of the more profitable arms of Sears Holdings is soon to be its own entity, according to the Chicago Tribune. Beginning April 6, Lands’ End will become its own brand, completely separate from its creator, Sears.

Lands' End spins off of Sears

From the article:

On March 24, stakeholders in Sears will receive about .3 shares of Lands’ End common stock, according to the filing. Lands’ End intends to be listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol “LE” and will begin trading on April 7.

Wisconsin-based Lands’ End will pay Sears a cash dividend of $500 million before the spinoff, financed by a new term loan. Lands’ End may also borrow up to $175 million for working capital, according to the filing.

Hoffman Estates-based Sears has seen its sales decline since billionaire hedge fund manager Edward Lampert combined Sears and Kmart in an $11 billion deal in 2005. In recent years, Sears has spun off Orchard Supply Hardware and Sears Hometown and Outlet stores, among other assets.

Started in Chicago in 1963 as a sailboat equipment catalog, Lands’ End evolved into an upscale casual clothing retailer. Sears purchased the company for $1.9 billion in 2002.

Sears, SHopper marketing

Sears Hoping Shoppers Will Embrace Their New Digital Approach

Hoping to stop the freefall that has been their revenue stream over the past few years, Sears is hoping to convert customers into online shoppers, complete with more specific and localized online targeting.

Sears, SHopper marketing

According to Bloomberg the company is going all in on digital. Their strategy is to further combine online and in-store sales to create a more cohesive omni-channel experience.

From the article:

Sears has also taken a page from Amazon.com (AMZN) in allowing third-party retailers to sell goods on its online real estate. Shoppers can now order at least 75 million products on the department-store chain’s Internet platform, most of which aren’t car batteries, kitchen appliances, or the other Sears staples. The company has even created an in-house app-development team.

So has the digital expansion by the pioneer of the mail-order-catalog age moved the needle? Not quite yet.

Some Web visitors are more valuable than others, and this is where the Sears strategy might pay off even if its online traffic trails key rivals. Shop Your Way, the member-loyalty program launched three years ago, is being deployed in lockstep with Sears’s e-commerce efforts. The program already has tens of millions of users and accounts for more than 60 percent of revenue at U.S. Sears and Kmart locations.

Sears Canada stores, retail localization

Sears spins off Canada stake to focus on US stores

Sears Holdings Corp. said Thursday it returned to a profit in the first quarter as it benefited from a gain on the sale of underperforming stores. The troubled retailer also said it would spinoff a stake in its Canada unit to focus on turning around its U.S. business.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill., company, which runs Sears, Kmart and Lands’ End, said it earned $189 million, or $1.78 per share, for the period ended April 28. It lost $170 million, or $1.58 per share, a year ago.

Sears Canada stores, retail localization

The current quarter included a $233 million gain on the sale of 11 U.S. stores, three Canadian stores and leasehold interest.

Excluding store closing costs and other items, Sears lost 31 cents per share from continuing operations. That was better than the loss of 67 cents per share analysts expected.

Sears shares rose $1.55, or 3 percent, to close at $52.42 Thursday.

Earlier this year, Sears also announced that it was spinning off its smaller Hometown and Outlet stores as well as some hardware stores in a deal expected to raise $400 million to $500 million. That transaction is still expected to close in the third quarter, Sears said Thursday.

Sears Chief Financial Officer Rob Schriesheim said in a statement that the company anticipates that it will generate $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion in capital this year through a number of actions, including the Hometown and Outlet spinoffs, previously announced cost reductions and moves taken to lower cash invested in inventory, and the sale of certain stores in the U.S. and Canada.

“They’re selling their branches to raise working capital,” said Michael Cipriani, executive vice president of Rosenthal & Rosenthal, which buys merchandise from suppliers and then collects the money from the retailer once the goods are sold. “All these are good signs. I believe they’re on the road to recovery.”

Still, the company has a long way to go in turning around its business. Total revenue for the latest quarter slipped 3 percent to $9.27 billion, partly as a result of unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates and having fewer stores open during the period. Wall Street had forecast revenue of $9.26 billion.

Revenue from Sears stores in the U.S. open at least a year fell 1 percent, while the figure dropped 1.6 percent for Kmart locations. The figure is a critical indicator of health because it excludes the impact of newly opened or closed stores.

Both Sears and Kmart stores experienced soft sales of consumer electronics but stronger sales of clothing and footwear. For Sears Canada, the metric slid 6.3 percent on declines in electronics, home decor, hardware and clothing.

Gary Balter, an analyst with Credit Suisse, noted that Sears may have benefited from J.C. Penney’s “debacle” in the first quarter. Penney blamed its big first-quarter loss on bad reaction from shoppers to its decision to get rid of hundreds of sales each year in favor of predictable low prices every day. Balter said that implies that it could be more difficult for Sears to deliver positive results going forward.

Sears’ cash balance for the quarter climbed to $784 million from $754 million over the three-month period ending April 28. It has also reduced inventory levels and trimmed its total debt to $3.2 billion at quarter’s end, down from $3.5 billion.

[via BusinessWeek]

Sears Explains Its Success In Content Marketing

Earlier this week we profiled digital marketing execs from General Mills and GE on how they’re running their organizations like publishers. For our third and final installment in this series on content marketing, we sat down with Julia Fitzgerald, Chief Digital Officer, Fitness, Sporting Goods & Toys at Sears Holdings and Gilad de Vries from best of breed content discovery platform, Outbrain.

Brandon GutmanHow do you get people to discover your content?        

Julia Fitzgerald: At Sears Holdings Company we use various ways of connecting people with our content. For FitStudio, the Sears online fitness community, we use multiple fitness experts as our content creators. The expert contributors all reach various wellness communities and draw them to the FitStudio content. We leverage our online platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and Shop Your Way, to promote the FitStudio content. We also use some of our more traditional Sears marketing assets to let our customers know about FitStudio. We do use some paid methods of distribution as well. Since we have such a rich library of fitness content, we leverage services that allow people to choose our content from multiple online portal links.

Julia Fitzgerald of Sears Holdings

What is the ROI on your content marketing efforts? How do you measure success?

While FitStudio is a major content marketing initiative, it is one of several Sears multichannel programs. Depending on the program, we have various ROI related metrics. For some programs, we are measuring membership acquisition, engagement, page views, return visits, coupon redemption, or purchase. Most of these metrics feed into a lifetime value of an engaged customer equation that ultimately determines ROI.

Many people may not know that Sears is the largest seller of fitness-related products. Why did Sears decide create to create FitStudio and what is the value you get from the initiative? What part do you see the brand playing in the conversation of how to get in shape, fitness and how fitness should be a part of everyone’s lives?

We realized that when shoppers come to Sears looking for a piece of fitness equipment, what they really are looking for is a 15 pounds lighter, fitter, or healthier version of themselves. And while the equipment is often a key component to their goal, they also need information and motivation to keep on track with a healthier lifestyle. FitStudio was the perfect solution for Sears to provide – free of charge – expert advice from fitness professionals and nutritionalists. In addition to the advice, FitStudio is a social venue where people can connect with each other and the fitness experts for information and encouragement. While the Sears brand is successful at selling fitness equipment, we have challenged ourselves with FitStudio to extend the brand beyond the equipment and to stand for the motivation and know-how to get America in shape.

[via Forbes]

sears-retail-localization

Sears Combines Outlet Stores and Hardware Stores Units into one Company

Sears Holdings Corp. revealed in a Monday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the previously announced spinoff of its Sears’s Outlet and Sears’s Hometown and Hardware stores will now combine the two chains into one separate company.

sears-retail-localization

The move, part of Sears’ initiative to cut expense and regain profits, will result in the newly named Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. and a public offering that is expected to raise $400 to $500 million for Sears.

The new company will consist of about 1,240 smaller-format stores, including 944 Hometown locations and 96 Sears Hardware stores.

Sears chairman Edward Lampert is expected to obtain a larger stake in the new company. According to a report by Reuters, Lampert’s ESL Investments hedge fund will acquire all of the stock it is entitled to and as many additional shares as are available for purchase, enabling Lampert and his funds to potentially control a larger share of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. than the 62% they currently hold in Sears Holdings Corp.

In related news, the Monday filing also said that current chief accounting officer Robert Riecker has been named interim CFO, but will not remain with the new company with the spinoff is complete.

[via RetailingToday]

sears_store-retail-localization

Sears Holdings Announces Completion of $270 Million Sale of Eleven Sears Stores to General Growth Properties

sears_store-retail-localization

Sears Holdings Corporation(NASDAQ: SHLD) announced today the completion of the sale of eleven Sears full line store locations to General Growth Properties for $270 million. Sears has received the sale proceeds and the stores will continue to operate as Sears locations into 2013 or 2014 with final closing dates to be determined and announced later this year.

Each of the Sears stores was part of an existing General Growth property.  The transaction included the list of owned and leased stores listed below.

 

1450 ALA MOANA BLVD Honolulu HI Leased
1481 CORAL RIDGE AVE Coralville IA Owned
1201 LAKE WOODLANDS The Woodlands TX Owned
20 BELLIS FAIR PKWY Bellingham WA Leased
1751 MADISON AVE Council Bluffs IA Leased
9405 W COLONIAL DR Ocoee FL Owned
1001 APACHE MALL Rochester MN Leased
2000 N NEIL ST Champaign IL Leased
6191 S STATE ST STE 300 Murray UT Owned
2501 W MEMORIAL RD Oklahoma City OK Owned
1200 TOWNE CENTRE BLVD Provo UT Owned

 

About Sears Holdings Corporation Sears Holdings Corporation is one of the largest broadline retailers with over 4,000 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States andCanada.  Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, consumer electronics and automotive repair and maintenance.  Sears Holdings is the 2011 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year.  Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands’ End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands.  It also has the Country Living collection, which is offered by Sears and Kmart.  We are the nation’s largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls made annually.  Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and KmartCorporation.  For more information, visit Sears Holdings’ website at www.searsholdings.com. Twitter: @searsholdings | |Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SHCCareers

[via Sacbee]
Retail Localization, Sears K-Mart

Sears Identifies 80 of 120 Stores Slated for Closure

Retail Localization, Sears K-Mart

Sears Holdings has announced 80 of the 100 to 120 stores the company plans to close as part of cost-cutting measures announced late last month. The closings will affect both Sears and Kmart stores in 25 states, with Florida taking the biggest hit, losing 11 units. The company did not release information about when the closures would take place.

Other states that will lose a large number of stores include Georgia, Michigan and Ohio, with six planned closures each, and Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina and Tennessee each losing four stores.

Sears’ plans to reverse its fortunes are not focused solely on shutting doors and making cuts. The retailer’s CEO, Lou D’Ambrosio, said in a recent Bloomberg News interview that the company’s turnaround will require combining technology with increased investment in its stores. D’Ambrosio, a former Avaya and IBM executive who joined Sears in February 2011, wants his managers to gather additional information about customers’ buying patterns and product preferences and to ramp up the retailer’s online operations.

Sears, which operates nearly 2,700 stores in the U.S. and Canada, has already provided its store associates with a total of 5,000 Apple iPads and 11,000 iPod Touch mobile devices to track inventory and customer orders, according to published reports.

[via RIS News]