Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blowing my own horn

I feel terrible about Sears Holdings' announcement today that they plan to close 100 to 120 Sears and KMart stores across the United States and Canada. My heart goes out to all the workers who will be losing their jobs as well as the suppliers and all the other assorted businesses whose success depends on those stores.

But I question the judgement of the State of Illinois who bent over backwards earlier this month to lure Sears into keeping their corporate headquarters in Illinois by giving them unprecedented tax breaks and other incentives. Hard to believe but could it be possible that Governor Quinn and the State Legislature were unaware about the fiscal health of Sears Holdings?

Now my finger is hardly on the pulse of the economy, but I learned about the sad state of affairs over at Sears and KMart last month when I accidentally stumbled across this article in Esquire Magazine. The article inspired me to write this post, which compared the business giants who founded the two retailers, with the current management who seems intent to destroy two American institutions in order to profit off their vast real estate holdings. The very name of the corporation that owns the two retail giants alone should have given that fact away. I found dozens of articles that backed up the Esquire piece.

I'm pretty sure that the governor had good, solid reasons for his actions and that he's convinced all will end up rosy for Sears and KMart. But just in case he didn't, may I suggest to avoid looking foolish in the future, the next time he takes draconian measures to keep a business in this state, he have his people do a little research first.

Maybe they can start by reading my blog!

1 comment:

Pete said...

Even someone whose sole exposure to business news is the Sun-Times would have been aware how badly Sears is doing, so I still can't figure out what Quinn was thinking. And I've also read all the press about how valuable the real estate is, which I really doubt - most Sears stores are in shopping malls, which big retailers are shunning (even JC Penney is now building stand-alone stores) and K-Mart stores are out of date and poorly located. Sears is toast.