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Sears’ Lampert takes on vendors in blog

BY CSA STAFF

Eddie Lampert, the chairman and CEO of embattled Sears Holdings Corp., is not holding back.

Days after he gave arare newspaper interviewin 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.

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News

REI in gym partnership

BY Marianne Wilson

Outdoor retailer REI is setting up shop in a fast-growing gym niche.

REI and Momentum TM Indoor Climbing are launching REI Co-op Climb, which will serve as a hub for climbing gear, programming and events at each of Momentum’s new climbing gyms. Expert instructors from REI’s Outdoor School will help Momentum members and guests gain skills and confidence through gym to crag classes.

Classes will range from beginner to advanced levels. REI members who participate in the Learn to Climb program will receive two weeks free climbing at Momentum.

REI Co-op Climb will debut inside Momentum Katy, in Katy, Texas, when the 36,000-sq.-ft. gym opens its doors on Saturday, July 15, 2017. The facility will feature 29,000 sq. ft. of rope climbing, bouldering, training walls and kids climbing. It will be able accommodate hundreds of climbers at once, and includes a 5,500-sq.-ft.cross-training area, dedicated yoga studio, locker rooms and laptop work spaces.

The 40,000-sq.-ft. Momentum Silver Street, near downtown Houston, will also feature an REI Co-op when it opens later this year. As one of the largest bouldering gyms in the county, it will host major competitions.

“REI has a rich climbing heritage thanks to our founders’ vision to be among the first to bring world class climbing equipment to the American market,” said John Sheppard, REI’s divisional VP, experiential programs and new ventures, REI, which has 147 stores nationwide. “We are excited to partner with Momentum to introduce REI Co-op Climb. These gyms are an important resource for avid climbers, and they’re an onramp for getting more people into the sport.”

According to Climbing Business Journal, 188 of the 414 indoor climbing gyms in the U.S. opened between 2010 and 2016, a rate of growth that is projected to continue.

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DEALS

Inland acquires Chicago-area multifamily property

BY Al Urbanski

Inland Real Estate Acquisitions has purchased an 85-unit residential property with ground floor retail in Vernon Hills, Illinois.

Constructed in 2010, The Commons at Town Center is a six-story structure consisting of 85 multifamily units and 10,609-sq.-ft of retail space. Current tenants are Sam Martirano Salon & Spa, Hawthorn Dental Associates, Eight Piece Rolls, Design Studio Jewelry, and Giuseppe’s Pizza Restaurant.

There are also 42 outdoor designated retail parking spaces on the property.

“With more than 152,000 residents within a five-mile radius and easy access to a major interstate, The Commons at Town Center is a prime example of the type of multifamily acquisitions we continue to seek out,” said Inland president Joe Cosenza.


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