None of the problems in the beleaguered retail industry hits closer to home than that of Sears Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD).
Like me, you probably had a dad or uncle that swore by Sears for, if nothing else, its tools for various home-repair projects. Craftsman was a dominant tool brand for much of its 90 years – and Sears was the only game in town to get them for a time.
The tools lasted seemingly forever and, when there was a rare problem, the warranties were fantastic and easy to use. Several generations of consumers simply refused to buy tools anywhere else.
Sears is defining case study for problems the retail space. Founded 131 years ago, Sears itself admits it’s close to closing its doors after losing $10 billion over the last decade.
To me, when Sears sold the Craftsman brand in January to Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE: SWK), they might as well have played “Taps” and raised the white flag.
Granted, Sears’ situation is far from unique. More than 8,600 brick-and-mortar stores will close their doors this year, according to Credit Suisse.
That’s a higher rate than the record year of 2008 – the height of the financial crisis. News of closures seems to arrive daily now.
Recent examples include Bebe Stores Inc. (Nasdaq: BEBE), which plans to close its 168 outlets and sell solely online, and Urban Outfitters Inc. (Nasdaq: URBN), which said the very future of the retail sector isin doubt.
They’re riding the strength of the $700 billion global home services market.
Today, I want to tell you about a tech firm that made a key buyout in this bulletproof sector – and why the move could put money in your pocket.