I’m an ex-Sears survivor (I worked in their corp HQ for about five years), and based on their track record for buying and destroying other companies, I gotta say I don’t have high hopes for this one, kids.
Let’s remember what happened the last time Sears made a major purchase like this. They bought a chain called Western Auto (an auto-service chain based primarily in the midwest). They then decided to change Western Auto from a do-it-for-you format (a la Pep Boys) to a purchase-your-own-parts DIY format. Invested billions and ended up selling the chain at a loss within 18 months after driving off all Western Auto’s loyal customers.
Maybe they’ve learned from their mistakes, but being the large old-school company they are, I doubt it. It’s a shame – I’m a huge Lands’ End fan, I love their clothing and I see this being potentially bad new for them. If Sears lets them run their own show and doesn’t mess with the quality of the goods, this could be something Sears definitely needs (i.e., higher-quality clothes instead of the crapola they currently carry) but I don’t see them giving LE that much autonomy.
This bums me out.