RIP, Sears Canada

The Globe and Mail (Atlantic Edition) - - OPINION -

How sad that Sears Canada has come to an end (End Of The Road For Sears As Re­tailer Set To Close Shop, Oct. 11). Putting ex­ec­u­tives and prof­its ahead of em­ploy­ees and cus­tomers has driven the com­pany to ex­tinc­tion. In re­cent years, Sears cut back on wages, train­ing, hours and ben­e­fits for front-line em­ploy­ees, in favour of share­holder prof­its and man­age­ment bonuses. Even in down­siz­ing, the com­pany chose to cut em­ployee ben­e­fits and pen­sions be­fore ex­ec­u­tive bonuses.

Mis­man­age­ment. Over­man­age­ment. Mi­cro­man­age­ment. Greed. Profit. De­struc­tion.

Les­son: When you put your em­ploy­ees first, they will take care of your cus­tomer, and the cus­tomer will take care of your prof­its. Putting the cart be­fore the horse has not worked since the invention of the wheel.

RIP, Sears Canada. – Blair Boudreau, Toronto Re Why Sears Failed: Wartime Lessons From Win­ston Churchill (Re­port on Busi­ness, Oct. 12): I won­der how Churchill would have fared if one of his gen­er­als had un­loaded Bri­tain’s best ar­ma­ments, and kept much of the money for him­self? Tough to win a war with­out tanks, ships and planes, wouldn’t you say?

That’s what Ed­ward Lam­pert did to Sears, sell­ing many of its most suc­cess­ful as­sets/stores to pur­chasers in which he has a ma­jor stake.

Un­like its Amer­i­can stores, Sears had been do­ing rel­a­tively well in Canada (as had Zellers, by the way). So I re­ally wish we Canucks would stop with this “Sorry, excuse me, my fault” non­sense, and re­al­ize that the en­emy is not our­selves, but in­vestors (of­ten Amer­i­can hedge funds) which take over a com­pany, empty it out, and leave its work­ers with no jobs and no sav­ings.

And when th­ese – lit­er­ally – poor peo­ple are left with lit­tle or noth­ing, the rest of us will likely have to step in to help them through govern­ment as­sis­tance pro­grams. So be­fore the court meekly bends over to per­mit Sears’s an­ni­hi­la­tion, per­haps the long-term im­pact of such a de­ci­sion on the rest of so­ci­ety should also be taken into ac­count. – Gino Ni­codemo, Lon­don, Ont.

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