Eddie Lampert thinks Sears, after emerging from bankruptcy, could be a public company again

  • Eddie Lampert thinks Sears could be a public company again one day.
  • He was able to use his hedge fund to save 425 stores from liquidating.
  • Now, Lampert says he plans to shrink the size of existing Sears stores and open more small-format locations.
Edward Lampert speaks during a news conference to announce the merger of Kmart and Sears in New York Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2004.
Gregory Bull | AP
Edward Lampert speaks during a news conference to announce the merger of Kmart and Sears in New York Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2004.

Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert has a new vision for the department store chain, once a publicly traded retailer until it was forced to file for bankruptcy last year.

"If I am a betting person, which I am, I would say at some point we would be public again," Lampert told The Wall Street Journal. It was his first interview since the deal to use his ESL Investments hedge fund to buy Sears out of bankruptcy was approved this month.

Through the $5.2 billion deal, 425 Sears and Kmart stores and 45,000 jobs were saved.

Now, Lampert says he plans to shrink the size of existing Sears stores, open more small-format locations — something the company has tried before — devote more space in stores to selling tools and appliances and beef up Sears' Shop Your Way loyalty program.

"Shop Your Way has always been our answer for how we're going to be more relevant," Lampert told the Journal.

Sears does not yet have a new corporate name as a restructured company, and it's still searching for a new CEO. Lampert held the title of CEO until he stepped down from the role when Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last October.

Read the full article from The Wall Street Journal.