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CNBC reports on an interview it did with Eddie Lampert, founder of ESL Partners, majority shareholder in the financially troubled and marketing-challenged Sears Holdings, which, as the story notes, he has had trouble reviving for the more than seven years he has owned it.

Lampert - who would not discuss Sears in any detail - suggested that some online retailers are generating a lot of sales without making any money, which creates an enormous challenge to traditional retailers to survive.

“You’re going to have to try new things,” he said. “If you’re unwilling to try new things and to fail and learn, you don’t have a shot. That doesn’t mean you are going to be successful, but you have to try to change.”

“A lot of businesses will have profitless prosperity and we’ve got to adapt, and I think that companies like Amazon, eBay, they’ve turned this into a big opportunity, and we have to be able to compete with them, not just Wal-Mart, Target, etc.,” Lampert said.
KC's View:
“Profitless prosperity,” huh?

Well, Fast Eddie seems to have the “profitless” part down pat.

Certainly he’s right that the likes of Amazon and eBay have changed the nature of the game. But what he does not seem to address is why, when it comes to any real innovation, Sears seems entirely bankrupt.

Give JC Penney credit. It is trying to create a new game while acknowledging that playing by the old rules wasn’t doing it any good at all.

I don’t see much of that kind of inspiration or innovation coming from Sears and Fast Eddie.