Who Killed Sears and Kmart?

The real reason Sears (and Kmart) is vanishing from the retail scene.

Dennis Sanders
13 min readSep 28, 2021


The following is a series of stories on the downfall of Sears and Kmart. You can read other stories by clicking on the link below.

Sears and Kmart Chronicles

10 stories

I’ve had a strange obsession over the last decade or so: following the story of the downfall of Sears and Kmart.

What’s that, you say? You already know the story? Let me guess, you think Amazon ate Sears’ lunch because it failed to keep up with the times, right?

Now you wouldn’t be totally wrong in believing that is the reason that Sears is nearly defunct. But that’s the public story-the one people hear from the media. There is another reason that Sears is going down the tubes and it’s hidden from plain sight.

Do you remember what happened to Toys R Us? A private equity firm bought the chain and piled on tremendous debt. The investors and shareholders made money and didn’t lose a cent. The employees of Toys R Us lost their jobs in some cases without any severance.

Something similar is happening to Sears and Kmart. Over the last 15 years, the owner of a hedge fund and the shareholders have stripped the company of value, selling off valuable brands and closing stores. All the while those shareholders haven’t really lost anything in the process.

What’s happening to Sears is something that has happened throughout retail and not just retail but in other sectors of the American economy. It has affected millions of jobs and yours could very well be next. Below is the transcript of a bonus episode of En Route about the downfall of Sears and how its former CEO Eddie Lampert will be able to walk away from what was once America’s great retailer without losing a cent of…



Dennis Sanders

Middle-aged Midwesterner. I write about religion, politics and culture. Podcast: churchandmain.org newsletter: https://churchandmain.substack.com/