The often struggling Sears (SHLD) and its SHLD stock is facing another wave of bad publicity — this time with one Sears top exec taking to Twitter to defend a series of photos that show Sears’ stores struggling.
Last week The Street ran a images from Sears stores that show clothes laying on the ground, misplaced mannequins, and more, with a Tweet from retail writer Rocco Pendola pointing out how terrible the stores appeared.
The post appeared on Yahoo’s (YHOO) homepage and went viral on Twitter — as Sears VP of Corporate Communications Chris Brathwaite rushed to defend Sears stores.
Brathwaite struck back at Pendola for saying that the cure for Sears was “2,000 sticks of dynamite” and new management.
See more of the Sears photos here.
Sears VP Brathwaite posted some quality Sears pics of his own — but the damage was done. The Sears photos went viral and the pair’s dust-up became the story.
First, as I mentioned to the Sears VP on Twitter, none of this is personal (even though he admitted to being a Boston Bruins fan). Several people responded to Saturday’s article with angry feedback. Some of it was downright vile. Granted, many of these readers had probably never heard of me (or Sozzi) prior to seeing the article pop up on Yahoo!’s homepage, but they would be better off seeking context before taking shots and forming (uninformed) opinions.
Of course, what’s lost in all the back and forth is that the original post highlights problems that not just Sears is facing from rival Amazon (AMZN).
Retailers are being challenges to reinvent themselves as shoppers move more and more online — and the reality is they are failing.
As InvestorPlace has reported before, while SHLD stock has increased at points this year, it’s not because of its earnings. Spinning off Land’s End and its automotive centers, for example, will bring SHLD stock shareholders some much-needed cash … but that’s about it.
What’s not being pointed out in this Twitter flap is that Sears has missed analyst expectations the last four years, with the company struggling with its operations. In short, Sears doesn’t look to thrive despite what its stock shows.
And no Twitter war can hide that truth.
SHLD stock is down 8% year to date.