Who Benefits If All Sears Locations Close?
2018 has not been kind to Sears Holdings Corp., the parent company of Kmart and Sears brand stores. For one, its stock plummeted by more than a whopping 75 percent in the last 12 months, and they are closing locations left, right, and center. In September 2018 alone, the retailer closed down over 68 stores countrywide and another 142 locations by the close of the year. That’s why it came as no big surprise when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The truth of the matter is that Sears isn’t going out of business anytime soon despite the threat of Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, laying off workers, and shuttering locations in the hundreds. But what if the 125-year-old retail giant were to completely tank, which companies would benefit from their fall?
Let’s take a look at 6 potential big-box competitors that might benefit immensely from Sears’ turmoil or eventual closure.
Kohl’s is an arch rival to Sears and Kmart in the low-end retail market. Yes, Kohl’s has also laid off workers and closed down some of their stores, but there has been an uptick in their sales across all locations. Kohl’s future is much brighter and it’s in much better shape than Sears or J.C. Penney, another close competitor. Kohl’s comp sales in the last 4 quarters have been positive, and they anticipate sales jump of between 0.5pc and 2pc for the full year 2018.
Currently, Kohl’s has more than 1,100 stores in the United States. And because its main competitor in the apparel department, Sears, is closing its stores, Kohl’s will definitely pull in more foot traffic and sales. Unlike Sears, Kohl’s has been keen on reducing inventory, product localization, and boosting efficiency. Also, Kohl’s have focused on loss prevention training, an area Sears has been lagging behind.
The Plano-based retailer has also been faring much better than Sears whole year. JCPenney operates 864 stores in the US and has a solid long-term strategy. Although it has received some threat from Amazon in their private-label department, JCPenney’s comp sales have been relatively unchanged throughout the year. The retailer has also been taking advantage of loss prevention online training to mitigate retail theft like shoplifting.
Macy’s, another competitor to Sears in the clothing sector, has been investing heavily in the mobile ecosystem. And their efforts have paid off. Their full-year comp sales are expected to increase by 2.5pc.
(4) Lowe’s, (5) Best Buy, and (6) Home Depot
Sears rake in more than $2.8 billion annually from the sale of household appliances. This is an area Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Best Buy will definitely capitalize on if Sears goes under.
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