Eddie Lampert On Sears: Transformations Of This Size, Scale Are Not Easy

Updated on

introductions, including the launch of Impact by Jillian Michaels, a performance activewear collection for women, which further strengthens our fitness offerings.

We recognize the need to continue to innovate in our fabrics and unique styles and designs. We plan to launch new technology in fabrics and design in our Everlast women and men’s lines. We have also been working to improve our ability to react faster to member needs and changing trends. We will reduce risk by making smaller and more seasonal buys, and reducing lead times to better meet our members’ needs. We successfully reduced lead times by over 30% in more than 25 brands, and reduced SKUs by about 30%. These shorter lead times and focused assortments will permit greater flexibility, speed and accuracy going forward.

Eddie Lampert: Sears’ connected solutions business initiative

Turning to Slide 34, we depict our connected solutions business initiative. Connected Solutions are focused on providing our members with products that can be monitored and managed from their smart device anywhere in the world, helping our members better manage their lives.

We’ve brought together one of the most authoritative assortments of smart, connected home and personal automation products from both well-known national brands, as well as innovative start-ups across diverse categories such as, home automation products such as thermostats, smart locks, lighting, switches and sensors, mobile phones and tablets, as well as service plans from AT&T and Verizon, smart watches, fitness products, such as treadmills, fitness bands and heart rate monitors, connected garage door openers, including Craftsman Assurelink and connected baby monitors.

Slide 35 shows our phased approach to growing the Connected Solutions platform. Our approach will continue to evolve as we just recently recruited a new leader to drive this business.

On Slide 36, I want to touch briefly on working capital, which has and will continue to be an important area of focus. As we have discussed before, we have reduced our net domestic inventory levels by over $1 billion over the past three years. We believe there’s still substantial opportunity to further improve our inventory productivity.

We are focused on a number of initiatives centered on, one, reducing the levels of slow moving and unproductive inventory, two, buying and flowing our merchandise differently given our Shop Your Way program and Integrated Retail platform, and three, buying smaller quantities of merchandise and turning it more frequently.

As you can see on the slide, if we can turn our inventory one more time per year, we can reduce our net working capital requirements by about $400 million, enhancing liquidity and freeing up capital that could be used to further invest in our transformation.

On Slide 37, we provide a summary of the initiatives laid out on the previous slides. As you can see, if we successfully execute on these opportunities, they have the potential to generate incremental annual EBITDA of between $1 billion and $2.4 billion under the assumptions as indicated. We believe we have a substantial opportunity to compete successfully in the changing retail landscape by proactively transforming our business to meet the new realities of the industry.

As I have said in the past, transformations of this size and scale are not easy, and we may continue to experience challenges in our financial performance over the next several quarters. However, we have made progress across a wide spectrum of initiatives, such as leveraging our Shop Your Way and Integrated Retail platforms, reducing our legacy pension obligation, managing our expenses, de-risking our balance sheet, and enhancing our financial flexibility to position ourselves to meet all of our financial obligations.

We believe these initiatives, when coupled with executing on the profitability framework I just described, will position us to play offense and enable us to continue to seek opportunities to grow and invest in our business.

We are committed to driving profitability, and we expect to focus on our strengths, including our best members, best stores and best categories. As the CEO and the largest individual shareholder of Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD), I am personally committed to driving our transformation, improving the profit performance of the company and creating shareholder value. Our team is committed and is actively engaged in the daily work to make this transformation work.

Leave a Comment