Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) is struggling to be a relevant and profitable retailer. Its quarterly sales have decreased steadily for 24 consecutive quarters. Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) most recently reported a $247 million loss of $2.63 per share for the quarter ending May 3. The company’s SEC filings reveal a significant amount of debt, as well as substantial pension fund liabilities. Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) still controls valuable consumer brands: Craftsman, DieHard and Kenmore as well as the Lands End clothing line. These brands have been “walled off” as a separate legal entity from Sears and remain a valuable bargaining chip for the company moving forward.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) ripped a page from Sears Roebuck’s old mail- order business model and successfully transformed an Internet “book selling” enterprise into a disruptive retail giant.In contrast to Sears, sales growth at Amazon has been impressive during the same reporting periods.
A Forbes article highlighted that during 2011, Wall Street rewarded Amazon’s visionary CEO Jeff Bezos with a staggering 55% increase in stock valuation.Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN)’s detractors are quick to point fingers at the stocks hefty P/E ratio being an Achilles heel. Regardless, Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) is shrinking and losing money, while Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is growing and beginning to show that its business model can be profitable.
A quick peek at “clicks:”
Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) established its Shop Your Way rewards program in 2009. Since then, it has done a very credible job of growing its online sales component, even though its total retail sales have been shrinking.Last quarter, Shop Your Way members accounted for over 50% of retail sales.This key component of Sear’s customer base can now be targeted and products promoted to them — based upon their individual buying preferences.
Sears now sits at 126 on Alexa’s list of most popular U.S. websites. This metric is noteworthy because Sears ranks ahead of Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M), Kohl’s and J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP).Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) dominates this list being the fifth-most-popular Internet destination overall, and continuing to grow. Sears’ CEO and majority shareholder Eddie Lampert recently said: “We are becoming a company focused less on products and less on stores and much more on members.” Is Mr. Lampert beginning to sound a bit more like Mr. Bezos — or is that just my imagination?
What does Sears have that could interest Amazon? Bricks.
Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) real estate footprint is shrinking at an accelerated rate. It has spun off 91 Orchard Supply Hardware Stores and 1,253 franchisee-managed Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores in the past two years, along with prime pieces of Sears Canada.During the past two years, over 500 K-Mart and Sears locations have been shuttered.Sears still has a real estate portfolio of around 240 million square feet including: 750 owned and 1,520 leased Sears, K-Mart and Sears Canada stores.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has a growing global real estate footprint to support its core business including: fulfillment centers, data centers, “Cloud” storage facilities, and office space. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently announced the company’s entry into the grocery business.This new business initiative will certainly require additional facilities and boots on the ground.Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is currently a significant tenant for datacenter REIT Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:DLR), leasing 448,895 square feet in six properties. Why is this important?