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Business Insider has a piece about the degree to which Sears Holdings is in trouble, in many ways because of self-inflicted wounds created by CEO and major shareholder, Edward Lampert.

"Lampert, a former Wall Street prodigy, took control of Sears more than a decade ago and became its CEO in 2013," the story says. "But he's rarely seen in the office, typically visiting about once a year for the shareholder meeting and projecting into videoconference rooms at Sears' Hoffman Estates, Illinois, headquarters the rest of the time, according to interviews with employees. He prefers to stay on Indian Creek Island, off the coast of Miami, behind a desk dressed up with the Sears logo. The island has been dubbed the 'billionaire bunker,' partly because of a private police force that protects the island's 86 residents."

The story goes on: "Lampert's physical absence might be better received if Sears, which also owns Kmart, was in better shape. But the retailer, famous for selling everything from shoes to vacuum cleaners to whole houses, is facing its biggest crisis ever. It's closing hundreds of stores. Others are in shambles, with leaking ceilings and broken escalators. In some, employees hang bedsheets to shield shoppers from sections that stand empty."

Morale is said to be in as lousy shape as the company's stores, and executives - who are unable to speak on the record because of fear of retribution - say that Lampert is focused not on creating compelling stores, but on turning Sears "into a tech company that collects and sells customer data through the Shop Your Way program."

While Lampert has invested upwards of $1 billion in Sears to keep it afloat, the story says that the vast majority of analysts say that the company is headed toward complete and total collapse.
KC's View:
This is an amazing story that gives very little hope that Sears somehow might be able to survive ... in large part because Lampert is painted as someone who doesn't really know what he is doing.

Turning Sears into a tech company sounds like the kind of thing a hedge fund guy with no retail experience would come up with. It may look good on paper, but it seems to have very little foundation in the company's actual reality.