With its stock down nearly 14% on Friday in response to poor earnings, it looks like a lot of investors threw in the towel on Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLDQ) last week -- but not Fool contributor Rich Smith.

He threw in the towel on this stock five years ago, when the company had a chance to remake itself as the Made in the U.S.A. store -- and blew it. Now Wal-Mart's (NYSE:WMT) stolen a march on Sears and promised to put $50 billion worth of American-made goods on its shelves over the next 10 years.

For Sears, this looks like the final blow, but it all started with a blown opportunity.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.