sears origin story
Believe it or not, Sears once revolutionized retail
01:52 - Source: CNN
New York CNN Business  — 

The battle for Sears customers is underway. Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Home Depot, and Best Buy are poised to capitalize from Sears’ bankruptcy filing.

Sears and Kmart have a combined 700 stores. The company has brought in $8.7 billion in revenue over the past year, leaving market share opportunities and sales of home appliances, TVs, tools, and clothing up for grabs.

About 20% of Sears and Kmart stores will close by the end of the year, and rivals could face short-term pressure if the company heavily marks down merchandise. But big-box players, department chains, and discount stores are in strong positions to win former Sears’ shoppers for years to come.

Many companies, including Walmart (WMT), Amazon (AMZN), and Target (TGT), are hoping for a repeat of how they benefited from Toys “R” Us’ liquidation earlier this year. The three are gunning to sweep up a chunk of the $7 billion in sales Toys “R” Us has left behind. Target’s chief executive has noted how Toys “R” Us has already helped his company.

Retailers have feasted off Sears’ troubles for years and positioned their businesses for an environment without the once-dominant company. JCPenney (JCP), for example, made a big push into selling home appliances under former CEO Marvin Ellison. Appliances made up 16% of Sears’ sales in 2017.

Home Depot (HD) will gain $500 million in sales from Sears’ continued losses in 2018 and Lowe’s (LOW) will pick up $330 million, estimated MoffettNathanson retail analyst Greg Melich.