In the following video, Fool analysts Austin Smith and Jeremy Phillips look at Sears Holdings' (OTC:SHLDQ) Sears stores and talk about why Sears will never again be the great company it once was.
For quite a while, investors have looked at Sears as a real-estate play with a genius hedge-fund manager at the helm, turning things around, Jeremy says. But that hasn't happened. And he doesn't see the situation changing.
Sears was an innovative company for a long time. It literally invented the catalog, and in the 1920s, it was shipping kits for houses to be built.
But Sears won't be great again, Austin says. He argues that what the company has done is amazing, but it doesn't have the pieces in place to return to greatness.
Austin also says the real-estate play on Sears is misunderstood. Many believe its assets are undervalued. Austin disagrees.
And while management has tried to run the company like a hedge fund, it hasn't worked, because the company is a retailer and needs to be run with the customer in mind, Austin says.