Sears Seeks Holding Agencies to Structure the Company

In Reports, What's New, Industry News by Jeff Prine

Sears HoldingsHoffman Estates, IL—In its latest ploy to survive a financial spiral downward, Sears Holdings evidently has reached out to “all of the major agency holding companies, asking them to present ideas on how to structure and staff the retail giant’s accounts, which are spread among a number of agencies,” Ad Age reported.

Reports surfaced that Sears sent a two-page document containing information on an “agency structure project” for next year.

“In the document, Sears asks agency holding companies for information on how they would structure and support the account, which includes Sears and Kmart, as well as its Craftsman, Die Hard and Kenmore brands. The scope includes merchandising, packaging, media buying, media placement, multicultural, social, mobile, search, direct marketing, catalog work, loyalty, brand positioning and more.”

REIT or Wrong

Sears Holdings has been looking to pull money out of its operations. First, by spinning off Lands’ End. Then on Friday, Sears said it was looking to sell 200 to 300 properties to a real estate investment trust (REIT)

CEO Edward Lampert is trying to protect the company’s vast real estate assets by transferring to a REIT.

Basically, under the plan, Lampert, a hedge fund owner, would set up a REIT that will buy about 300 Sears stores. The REIT will own the stores and lease them back to Sears or anybody else, and it will be publicly traded. Sears’s investors will get a chance to buy into the REIT, which, unlike the struggling the retailer, could actually make money.

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