Things Eddie Lampert Thinks and Maybe Should Not Say

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Photo: Patrick McMullan, Getty Images

Eddie Lampert knows you make fun of him, okay? He knows that you think his strategy for turning around Sears and Kmart won't work, that people are saying he might have lost his touch. But long ago, his mother told him that winners never quit and quitters never win, and now he has a new role model who proves she was right: New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. “Like Eli Manning, we know what it’s like to be underestimated and questioned, but we intend to keep working on our game to achieve our full potential,” Lampert wrote in a Jerry Maguire–like letter to Sears Holdings shareholders that was filed with the SEC today, along with the company's dismal fourth-quarter earnings.

“Throughout the regular season, fans and the media were quick to criticize Manning every time he had a bad game and to question his leadership," he continued. "As recently as late November, after a particularly disappointing loss to Minnesota in which Manning threw four interceptions, many pundits were declaring him a bust. Manning, however, did not give up or lose heart. He remained focused, continued to work hard on his game and on improving his skills.” As with Jerry's "Things We Think and Do Not Say" memo, the letter has recieved some hostile reactions."We know Eli Manning, and Eddie Lampert is no Eli Manning," huffs Portfolio. "Sears isn't the New York Giants. It's the Detroit Lions." The FT is similarly skeptical. "The 'long term' is approaching, and Sears’ eroding profits are not just points on a scoreboard." Sears is "bleeding market share, customers, and cash," retail consultant Craig Johnson grumbled to the Guardian. "If you don't invest in the business, you're not going to win in retail," he said. Looks like someone needs to stop writing their little memos and, ahem, show them the money.

Letter From the Chairman [SEC via DealBook/NYT]