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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Retailer Sears Holdings Rejects $400 Million Ohio Deal And Stays Home in Illinois: Spurned Suitor Kasich Spins His Failure As Positive

Kasich's Bd For Sears Headquarters Flops
CINCINNATI (TDB) -- "To have one of America’s major retailers consider relocating to Ohio is a testament to how far we’ve come in a short amount of time — we are beginning to get back on track.” 

That's Gov. John Kasich's spin on news that department store chain Sears Holdings, parent of Sears and K-Mart, won't be moving its headquarters with 6,000 jobs to Columbus. Kasich dangled $400 million in economic development incentives Sears bypassed for half as much from Illinois.  Sears has been a fixture in the Chicago area since the 1800s and may never have intended to relocate.  Was it a three card monte street hustle?  Some analysts suspect Ohio's offer helped Sears pry more money out of Illinois. [Ed. Note -- Plunderbund has Casey at the Bat rewritten to commemorate the governor's whiff.  Plunderbund's poem knocks the ball out of the park.]

Kasich's statement -- "we are beginning to get back on track" -- implies he accomplished a noble deed by attracting the interest of one of the nation's best known retail chains.  But the courtship went nowhere.  And Ohio already is considered a great spot for retailers.
 Kasich just couldn't the job done.  Fact is, the retail industry in this state has been on track for decades.  Ohio is a hotbed of retailing with corporate giants scattered across the state from Cincinnati to Cleveland; Hoover's, a Dunn & Bradstreet unit that tracks business investment and operations shows that retailing is one of Ohio's core homegrown industries. Ohio-born retailers range from Victoria's Secret to building materials specialist Carter Lumber, which is based in Kent and has 200 stores in 10 states.  Let's look at some of the retailers on the list (which are not ranked in any particular order):

1.  The Kroger Co. based in Cincinnati had $82.2 billion in sales last year.  Kroger has 2,460 supermarkets, 784 convenience stores, and 361 jewelry stores.  It employed about 338,000 people full and part-time.

2. Macy's Inc. in Cincinnati is the nation's largest department store chair. Sales were $25 billion last year.  There are 810 Macy's stores, 41 Bloomingdale's and 166,000 employees.  Macy's used to be known as Federated Department Stores before changing its corporate name in 2007.

3  Big Lots Inc. in Columbus had nearly $5 billion in sales. The company has 1,400 stores in 48 states and is the nation's largest closeout retailer.

4,  DSW Inc. in Columbus is a footwear and accessories retailer with 328 stores in 40 states.

5. Jo-Ann Stores Inc. is based in Hudson, a small community between Akron and Cleveland.  With 751 stores in 48 states, the company is the nation's largest specialty retailer of fabrics and crafts.

6.  United Dairy Farmers was started by the Lindner family and now has 225 stores in Ohio and Kentucky.  It is one of the nation's leading ice cream retailers.

7.  Limited Brands in Columbus has 90,000 employees and $9.6 billion in sales.  Victoria's Secret is one of its six chains, along with Bath & Body Works.  In all, the company has 2,600 specialty stores in the U.S.

8.  Sherwin Williams in Cleveland makes paint and operates 3,900 stores.  Through the first 9 months of this year, the stores had $3.65 billion in sales.

9.  Marc Glassman Inc. has 60 groceries in Ohio and 6 discount stores in Connecticut.  The Ohio Department of Development lists the Parma-based chain (suburban Cleveland) as among the state's top `100 employers with 6,500 people on its payroll.

10.   Abercrombie & Fitch in New Albany near Columbus has more than 1,100 stores.


  1. Hey, you forgot Elder-Beerman! We could have included that as a kicker in the $400 million deal for Sears.

  2. Maybe Kasich can bring Alms and Doepke back to life like Lazarus, the guy raised from the dead. Oh yeah, Lazarus the department store is Macy's now. County and state JFS offices already in Alms and Doepke building downtown. Kick the lazy bums out. Put in sales clerks. Kasich will pay them a subsidy. He wants to clip/gut state worker salaries. It's a jobs plan, right.

  3. Whatever happened to Higbees in cleveland? C'mon guv, bring them back. Loved the window displays at Christmas.

  4. 4:55 Browns fan. Were you the kid in Christmas Story? How's the Old Man? The kid with the frozen tongue? Lake Erie still stinky?

  5. If nationwide ever leaves we are screwed