J.C. Penney's predicament reminds me of another large retailer that never quite turned around-Sears (SHLD). Warren Buffett described the situation well during a meeting at the University of Kansas in 2005.
Q: What is your opinion of the prospects for the Kmart/Sears merger? How will Eddie Lampert do at bringing Kmart and Sears together?
Nobody knows. Eddie is a very smart guy but putting Kmart and Sears together is a tough hand. Turning around a retailer that has been slipping for a long time would be very difficult. Can you think of an example of a retailer that was successfully turned around? Broadcasting is easy; retailing is the other extreme. If you had a network television station 50 years ago,