The Biggest Winners from Sears' Long Decline

 | Sep 14, 2018 | 11:10 AM EDT
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Sears Holdings Corporation's  (SHLD)  decline in recent years has left competitors cleaning up and profiting off the remains of the struggling retailer.

The once-great retailer with a storied history dating back over 100 years has been on life support in its old age and its competitors are happy to take market share while the company attempts to recover.

A stock pop today that has shares rising 12.4% as of 10:40 a.m. in new York is doing little to change opinion on the direction the company is headed.

Target soared 35.1% year to date, Kohl's gained 46.7%, Macy's increased 41.1%, Home Depot advanced 10.2%, Best Buy 15%, and Amazon whopping 69.1%.

Walmart declined 4.2% year to date, with J.C. Penney slumping 41.5%.

Global revenue and sales have shrunk precipitously in the past 10 years. In just the past four years, revenue has come down from $10.6 billion in the first quarter of 2014 to just $3.2 billion in the last quarter.

Walmart (WMT) , Target (TGT) Kohl's (KSS) , J.C. Penney (JCP) , Macy's (M) , The Home Depot (HD) , Lowe's (LOW) , Best Buy (BBY) and Amazon (AMZN) are all listed as major competitors to the company in its most recent 10-K filing.

Aside from fellow struggling legacy retailers J.C. Penney, all of these companies have enjoyed strong growth in the wake of Sears' slow decline.

According to a report published by the Open University of Hong Kong and The Economist, the company could fold as soon 2020 as liquidity issues, secular shifts in retail, and management problems push the stock price down to zero. 

These competitors will surely be eager to capitalize on the new opportunity Sears' market absence would create.

To be sure, the evaporation of Sears before our very eyes means that an ever shrinking tailwind of share contribution fleeing the decaying retailer will go with it.

"Sears, the donor, matters tremendously to me from the point of view of how little it can still help others," Jim Cramer explained in his take early this morning. "The donations grow smaller each quarter. When they run out, it will matter."

With only $3.2 billion in revenue left to contribute to the retail-buzzards circling the company's carcass, the company's ability to continue to lift these growing companies will become a larger question moving forward.

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