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Former Sears Exec Says Retailer Is Like a Capsizing Ship and Can’t Be Saved

June 12, 2017, 4:47 PM UTC

Sale totals for Sears have been declining for years — and a former executive is pointing a finger at both the corporation’s strategy and current CEO Eddie Lampert.

During a recent interview with TheStreet, former Sears Canada CEO Mark A. Cohen said the retailer has “no viability on a forward basis” following disappointing first quarter sales and swirling conjecture of a future bankruptcy. Cohen doesn’t believe the retailer can be saved at this point, adding that “they have sold off almost all of their best stores, they have no cash flow, they have ruined their market share.”

Cohen, who was fired from Sears in 2004 and is now director of retail studies at Columbia Business School, also gave a scathing assessment of Lampert, who he doesn’t believe has a strategy to make the company profitable.

“Sears is like an ATM machine for Lampert; he has his hands on it. Eddie Lambert is either dishonest, delusional and disingenuous or some combination of the three,” Cohen said.

The overall state of affairs at Sears is like a capsizing ship, where managers are barely keeping afloat by throwing “everything that will burn above the waterline” into the boiler, Cohen said. In the end, he predicts the ship will sink.

MORE: Sears Sales Plunge Yet Again

A Sears spokesperson declined to comment to TheStreet in response to the interview, but pointed out that Cohen had been fired before Lampert became CEO.