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'We are down, but not out': Sears gets feisty on social media

Reuters 

By and Naidu

(Reuters) - The clock may be fast running out on Sears Holdings Corp, but you wouldn't know it from the company's feisty posts on

"We are down, but not out... - SMT," Sears, via its official account (@Sears), said in reply to one of the many posts Monday morning about the 126-year-old company potentially going out of business.

The optimistic tweets come ahead of a hearing on Tuesday, where Sears will ask a U.S. if it can proceed with liquidation after it failed to reach a deal on Edward Lampert's $4.4 billion takeover bid, according to people familiar with the matter.

Another user opined that the retailer "had a good run I would say." Sears replied: "We would say that as well, but we are Marathon Runners, and we are still running. We may be slowing down, but we are not out of the race just yet. Don't count us completely out. Happy Shopping! -SMT"

The "SMT" sign-off is for the Sears Team that runs the Twitter account, which has a following of 209,000, significantly smaller than many of its

The company declined to comment on its strategy.

In the face of competition from and other brick-and-mortar retailers, including Walmart Inc, Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based Sears has struggled to reinvent itself.

Sears' former told at the end of 2017 that the company planned to invest more heavily in in 2018.

Cook said marketing directly to shoppers via Twitter and posts and influencers could help change consumer sentiment toward Sears. The company also planned to use shoppers' opinions to make operational and merchandising changes, she said.

However, only 9 percent of U.S. millennials - aged between 22 to 37 years in 2018 - said they would consider buying goods from the retailer, according YouGov BrandIndex, a company that tracks public perception of brands.

On Monday, Sears encouraged those saddened by its store closures to shop online. "Thank you for the picture! It is very surreal," the account tweeted at a user who posted a picture of a Sears store striped of inventory, one of many to shutter its doors. "Here's to ONLINE shopping for everyone! -SMT"

Over the last 30 days, Sears' posting frequency on Twitter has gone up by the week, as have interactions per post, according to firm

took a slightly different tack to reach its nearly 2 million followers on Twitter.

"While our store roster may be getting smaller, what is not changing is our desire or commitment to serving you," (@ToysRUs) tweeted from its official account in February 2018, roughly five months after it filed for bankruptcy protection.

"We will continue to operate stores in all major markets and as always, you can also continue to shop online. Thank you!"

Then, in March, announced it would sell or close all 885 stores in its U.S. chain, after failing to restructure billions of dollars in debt.

Nearly three months after filing for bankruptcy in October, Sears has made plans to sell its vast inventories of tools, appliances and store fixtures, sources told on Sunday.

Lampert's bid is meant to preserve 425 Sears stores and up to 50,000 jobs across the A liquidation would put roughly 68,000 people that Sears now employs out of work.

"If Sears liquidates, it'd be very, very sad for all of us," said longtime Sears vendor Joe Shamie, of furniture vendor Delta Children, which lost millions after Toys 'R' Us filed for bankruptcy.

(Reporting by in New York and in Chicago; Editing by and Jeffrey Benkoe)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 20:09 IST
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