|Another brand bites the dust|
It's no surprise that this Sears outlet is going the way of others across the country.
It's a "brilliant" corporate strategy to downsize in a bad economy. Since 2010, Sears has closed more than half of its stores.
Hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert gets much of the blame for Sears' downfall when he merged it with Kmart in 2005.
Of course, Bend previously lost its Kmart store before the merger.
In many ways, these closures are symptoms of the changing retail business, particularly for department stores.
There is much more competition for appliances, tools and clothing that Sears sells.
The Bend-Redmond area has Kohls, Macys, Target, two Fred Meyers, two Home Depots, two Lowes and two super Walmarts. It also has a JC Penney, Standard appliances, a few Bi-Marts, and Harbor Freight Tools.
This region is a tad oversubscribed in retail, which has been the area's problem for more than 30 years or when Sears opened at the Bend River Mall in 1980. In fact, the Wall Street Journal once described Bend as the most over-retailed city in America.
It still is.
But, the reclusive Lampert, who became a billionaire by age 41 and was once considered the "Steve Jobs of the investment world," gets exposed in this piece on Salon.com.
It seems that Lampert is a devotee of Ayn Rand and her long-discredited philosophy of "objectivism," which can be called the "me-first-and-the-hell-with-you" doctrine. Rand's economic views have ruled America since the Reagan years and it's one of the main reasons we're a debtor nation with high unemployment.
Lampert is a poster child for this brand of economics. He gambled big on Wall Street and won. Therefore, he viewed his "accomplishments" as proof that his contributions to this world are greater than almost everyone else's. Easy money does that to some folks.
He would hand out copies of Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" at board meetings. (Note to workers: If your boss does this, it's time to look for another job.)
Lampert would consider himself a job creator, but his track record says the exact opposite.
At the rate he's going, Lampert should be able to kill off Sears, and all those jobs, in a couple more years.
For a different take on the claim that the rich are the only real "job creators" out there, check out what this billionaire has to say on a TED talk that got banned from TED, because, presumably, it counters the myth that tax cuts create wealth which creates jobs.