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Sears CEO Steps Down, But That’s Only the Beginning of the Bad News

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Sears Holdings Corporation has apparently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, announcing that CEO Ed Lambert would be resigning from his post in order to aid the restructuring process.

This is pretty sad news as Sears is practically an American institution. There’s little doubt that the changing tide of commerce from brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping has had a huge role in the company’s decline, however, it seems a large part of the blame rests on the retailer itself.

The company issued a statement confirming that it has filed voluntary petitions for bankruptcy relief in an effort to “continue streamlining its operating model and grow profitability for the long term.”

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CEO Ed Lambert has also resigned his post to allow a team of executives to take over day-to-day operations, and restructuring expert Mohsin Meghji will lead the firm’s transition into Chapter 11.

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Lambert will still remain chairman of the board, as the company’s largest investor and creditor, but a new independent director, William Transier, has been appointed due to his expertise in overseeing complex capital reorganizations.

While the company said its Sears and Kmart stores will continue to operate as usual, another 142 unprofitable locations will be shuttered by the end of 2018.

Analysts have been speculating for quite some time that the Sears company was not doing very well, and for good reason. Over the last decade, the firm has shutdown hundreds of stores and is more than $5.6 billion in debt. Its stock price has fallen so low they’ve had to sell off several major brands just to keep things afloat.

While it seems Lambert has an optimistic view of the restructuring process, many other experts are not feeling so upbeat. Neil Saunders, a man who doesn’t hold back the nitty gritty reality of a given situation, stated that “the problem in Sears’ case is that it is a poor retailer. Put bluntly, it has failed on every facet of retailing from assortment to service to merchandise to basic shop-keeping standards.”

“That failure has manifested itself in lost customers, lost market share, and a brand that has become tarnished and increasingly irrelevant,” Saunders finished.

Here’s to hoping that Sears will take such criticism seriously, learn from their mistakes, and manage to turn the ship around before it’s too late.

Source: TheBlaze

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Amazon Rolls Out Creepy ‘Pay By Palm’ Hardware at Whole Foods

Is this one of the harbingers of a cashless society?

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Throughout much of modern history, Americans and their cash were two separate things.  One was a human being, breathing and walking about, earning money.  The money was an inanimate commodity of varying value that we used to keep the organism alive, fat, and happy. But in the future, it seems as though we may find ourselves intrinsically, and anatomically indistinguishable from our bank account.  In fact, it appears as though Amazon is banking on it. Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) said it is rolling out biometric technology at its Whole Foods stores around Seattle starting on Wednesday, letting shoppers pay for items with a scan of their palm. The move shows how Amazon is bringing some of the technology already in use at its namesake brick-and-mortar Go and Books stores to the grocery chain it acquired in 2017. The system, called Amazon One, lets customers associate a credit card with their palm print. It offers a contact-less alternative to cash and card payments, Amazon said. Of course, the move is being regarded as a terrifying leap into Orwellian territory by privacy experts, as it appears to push us ever closer to a cashless society where hackers and power failures could doom us all to poverty in the blink of an eye.

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Fraternal Order of Police Responds to LeBron James’ Tweet Fiasco

And they were NOT happy.

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The politicization of American sports has been ongoing for some time, perhaps decades, but the most recent acceleration of this melding has come thanks to the power of social media and the blurring of the line between celebrity and athlete. At the forefront of this movement has been the NBA, and, more specifically, superstar LeBron James. This week, James came under fire for a tweet in which he referenced the Derek Chauvin trial’s guilty verdicts, with a photo of another officer who was involved in the shooting of a young black girl and text stating “you’re next”. The tweet was seen as a threat by many, including the Fraternal Order of Police who responded harshly. On Wednesday, James tweeted a photo of the officer involved in the shooting with a caption reading “YOU’RE NEXT #ACCOUNTABILITY.” The tweet has since been deleted. James was reacting to the deadly police shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant. Hours later, the National Fraternal Order of Police tweeted a photo of James’ original tweet, saying: “[email protected], with his vast resources & influence, should educate himself and, frankly, has a responsibility to do so, on the facts before weighing in. This is disgraceful & extremely reckless. The officer saved a young girl’s life. No amount of gaslighting will change that fact.” James attempted to walk back the tweet after deleting it, by issuing an explanation that garnered only a lukewarm response online.

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