After being refreshingly candid in its annual report, admitting that there is a lot of “doubt” about its ability to remain afloat in the long run, Sears Holdings is now doing an about-face, with its chief financial officer assigned to handle damage control. Get your “Sears Holdings Corporate Announcement Bingo card” ready.
“Sears Holdings remains focused on executing our transformation plan and will continue to take actions to help ensure our competitiveness and ability to continue to meet our financial obligations,” CFO Jason Hollar, who is not the founder of online dollar store Hollar, wrote on the SHC Speaks blog.
Between the sale of the Craftsman tool brand, the sale of Sears properties to a real estate investment trust, and more borrowing from its CEO, Sears Holdings will be able to pay its bills for another year unless something unanticipated happens, to the company or to retail in general. What happens after that?
CFO Hollar argues that the risks listed in that annual report are required by regulators and that the report didn’t include the company’s corresponding plans to mitigate those risks.
“While historical performance drives the disclosure,” he wrote, “our financial plans and forecast do not reflect the continuation of that performance.”
The problem is that we don’t see any evidence that customers are flocking to Sears and Kmart stores or to ShopYourWay.com. The things that Sears Holdings has tried to date haven’t worked, and are continuing to not work.