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As Business Insider reports that Sears is borrowing yet more money from its CEO’s hedge fund - this time, $60 million, following previous loans from Edward Lampert’s ESL Investments that have totaled in the billions of dollars - the Wall Street Journal has a long story about the decline and death knell that seems to be sounding for Sears, which has such lousy credit with manufacturers that it is having trouble getting the hot holiday toys it needs to attract shoppers this Christmas.

You can read the entire Journal piece here.

“Sears once dominated American retailing and helped build famous brands, including Whirlpool appliances, Craftsman tools, Schwinn bicycles and Allstate insurance,” the Journal writes. “Now, bleeding cash and losing shoppers, the 124-year-old company is scrambling to keep suppliers - the lifeblood of any retail chain - from bolting.

“To guarantee shipments from LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. , Sears is paying them cash up front for some goods, said people familiar with the matter. Levi Strauss & Co. has stopped supplying women’s jeans to the chain, said another person.” Other manufacturers are tightening their payment terms, even demanding the be paid on delivery.

Sears, of course, downplays any tensions between it and its suppliers. And spokesman Chris Brathwaite says that “inaccurate assertions and negative speculation about Sears and its future” have “had a very detrimental impact on the company through mere repetition.”
KC's View:
Ah. The old “fake news” defense that has become so common these days among some scoundrels and scallawags.

Let me get this straight. The media reports on a company that has lost touch with its customers, abandoned any sense of relevance and/or resonance, is losing sales and profits in a precipitous decline while having to borrow billions to prop itself up, and it our fault for reporting on it? Yeah, right.

Let’s be clear. This company is on life support, and has been for a long time. Virtually all of the organs are dead. Blaming the media for it doesn’t make the carcass any less decaying.