Eddie Lampert, the chairman and CEO of embattled Sears Holdings Corp., is not holding back.
Days after he gave a rare newspaper interview in which he commented on the current state of affairs at Sears and partially blamed media coverage for its troubles, Lampert took aim at some of the chain’s vendors in a blog post on the company’s website on Monday. Sears' shares closed down more than 12% on Monday after Lampert's post.
"There have been examples of parties we do business with trying to take advantage of negative rumors about Sears to make themselves a better deal — a deal that is unilaterally in their interest,” Lampert wrote. "In such a case, we will not simply roll over and be taken advantage of — we will do what's right to protect the interests of our company and the millions of stakeholders we serve.”
Lampert called out one specific vendor that he accused of trying to take unfair advantage of his company: One World, a China-based subsidiary of Techtronic Industries that makes power tools and related accessories for Sears’ Craftsman line. The company, which has been working with Sears for nine years, has threatened to refuse to perform under the terms of its supply agreement unless Sears agrees to its “unreasonable demands,” Lampert said in the blog.
“One World has informed us of their intention to take the very aggressive step of filing a lawsuit against us as they seek to embarrass us in the media to force us to let them out of their contract,” Lampert wrote. “But Sears has nothing to be embarrassed about — we have lived up to our word under our contract, and we will take the appropriate legal action to protect our rights and ensure that One World honors their contract.”
Lampert also reiterated his belief that Sears can continue to operate as a going omnichannel retailer with a large number of stores as long as it receives the support of its vendors and other stakeholders.
To read Lampert’s full blog, click here.