Who Eventually Will Own the Sears Brand?

Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Among the open questions is whether some of its stores will stay open. The other fate of the company is that it might be liquidated and altogether end its run as a retailer. That would not leave a single store open or a viable website. However, the name of the company and its brand may be part of the asset auction.

There is precedent for selling the Sears name. Toys “R” Us still has an online presence. RadioShack exits online as part of Walmart. While the Sears (and Kmart) brands have been tarnished, they still have brand equity due in part to their longevity.

Those values mean that another retailer, or perhaps an entrepreneur, will buy the two brands. Or, bondholders may opt to hire a retail expert to operate the two brands online and keep most of the proceeds. The future may be grim for Sears, but that does not mean the brand is dead.

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