Eddie Lampert, president of Sears and new owner of the 425 locations of Sears and Kmart, revealed details of his plan to turn the iconic brand around, including the possibility of making it public.
"If I am a betting person, what I am, I would say that at some point we will be public again," Lampert told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, in his first interview since a New York bankruptcy judge approved his hedge fund. ESL The investment offer of $ 5.2 billion to acquire the company in bankruptcy.
Lampert also revealed that he wants to reduce the size of the remaining Sears and Kmart stores, sell fewer clothes and hire a new CEO.
"Our goal is to continue reducing the size of our stores," he added. "If I had my druthers, I'd rather be bigger than smaller, we still have enough critical mass."
In addition, he plans to devote more retail space to tools and appliances and focus less on the sale of clothing. That news comes almost a week after the competitor J.C. Penney announced its decision to abandon the sale of major appliances and focus on the sale of clothing.
In a previous statement to FOX Business, ESL said it also plans to open more smaller stores, similar to one in Illinois that is 62,000 square feet, about one third of its original size.
The newspaper said the recently restructured company, which does not yet have a name, will be comprised of 223 Sears stores and 202 Kmart locations, and will include the Kenmore and DieHard brands.
In 2017, Sears sold its Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker for $ 900 million. However, Sears still has a license to sell the products.
What's more, Lampert said he would remain the president of the company, but is in search of a new CEO to carry out the new plan.
However, many are questioning Lampert's plan for the future of Sears.
Matthew Mason, managing director of Conway MacKenzie and a former Sears attorney from 2002 and 2005, told FOX Business that although the Lampert offer is positive news for the 45,000 employees at the moment, that may be short-lived.
"By admitting that 156 stores have weak performance, it is almost certain that ESL is setting the stage for the closure of additional stores," said Mason. "The long-term impact is still a big question."
As for the 45,000 Sears and Kmart employees who can now keep their jobs, many say they have "mixed feelings" about the news.
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"I'm relieved and I'm glad that 45,000 people can keep their jobs, but I'm still angry, my store is still closing, there are still people who do not have their separation, if there's something more resolved than ever to keep fighting," he said. FOX Business Gabe Maquire, a seven-year associate at Kmart in North Carolina, whose store is closing in March.