The main question here isn’t who caused the decline of the two chains. Instead, the main thing here is stewardship. In other words, how do we take care of the things we are given? When I think about stewardship, my thoughts tend to drift to the stewardship of natural resources and as a pastor, it can go to the stewardship of finances. But stewardship can and should apply to stewardship of business. How can we use the resources we are given as businesses, land, employees, and pensions wisely?
It is by that standard that we can judge Lampert. He was entrusted with two iconic retailers that employed hundreds of thousands of workers. In 2006, a year after the merger, Sears Holdings was still very profitable with shares going for over $132. In fact, things went well until 2012 when they went south and never recovered. When it went into bankruptcy in 2018 and before it went private, Sears Holdings' stock price was at $.37. No, that’s not a typo.
This is the last in a series of articles about the downfall of Sears and Kmart. Read it here (and please share it)!
You should also listen to two episodes on the end of these two firms. The first is from last summer with retail journalist Warren Shoulberg:
And the second is from earlier this year with Canadian lawyer Jan Weir:
You can read the whole series by going here.