17 November 2004
Up against the Wal
The merger of K mart and Sears, Roebuck, if nothing else, explains the Big K's strategy in the last couple of years: go through Chapter 11, strip away as much as possible, and try to look like you're worth $11 billion.
K mart will continue to operate under its own name in its reduced marketing area. (All the Oklahoma City stores were closed as part of the bankruptcy restructuring.) Whether K mart stores will accept Sears store cards, or vice versa, remains to be seen; Sears also issues a branded MasterCard, which presumably would not be affected, inasmuch as Citigroup acquired Sears' credit-card business last year.
The usual noises about economies of scale and so forth were made, but the real question has yet to be answered: how does the Sears/K mart combination how, indeed, does anyone expect to compete with Wal-Mart?