Sears - How to Destroy a Business, Department Store and Name

This is a fascinating article from Business Insider about the demise of Sears. I highly recommend it b/c it is so interesting and b/c there are so many great lessons about how NOT to run a business.

Sears is fascinating in general b/c it was such an iconic brand and department store for so long – over 100 years – and it is now almost worthless.

Note to Millennials – Department Stores were large buildings that people actually visited to buy things…before the internet was invented :).

In any case, Sears is now run by an egotistical billionaire who seems determined to repeat every business management mistake in the book. Here are a few:

  1. He has no buy-in for his vision for Sears as membership/tech company (true story).
  1. He is an absentee boss, running his company from his South Florida Estate. He rarely visits stores or corporate HQ.
  1. He doesn’t listen to employees or managers, who are in the trenches.
  1. His culture is far from safe. He yells often and inhibits effective feedback.
  1. He has no trench experience of his own. He is a brilliant asset manager with a Yale education and a Goldman Sachs background, but he has no retail experience.
  1. He doesn’t focus on core business – retail. We have seen distractions disrupt many businesses, including JVM.
  1. He has a huge ego. This damages his relationships, prevents him from getting and seeking the help he needs, and from giving credit where credit is due, among many other things. I highly recommend Ryan Holiday’s short and excellent book – Ego is The Enemy.

Jay Voorhees
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(855) 855-4491 | DRE# 01524255, NMLS# 310167

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