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2016 Newsmakers of the Year: Holding On For Life

If there’s one word that sums up Eddie Lampert’s ongoing stewardship of Sears Holdings, it’s “commitment.”

Frankly, many retail executives who have watched the slow deterioration on not one, but two iconic American retail chains — Sears and Kmart — would have hung it up long ago. Sears’ days as the only game in town for appliances are long gone, as is Kmart’s long reign as America’s favorite discounter.

It’s not entirely Lampert’s fault, he has deftly made strategic moves to keep the business afloat and moving in a positive direction, but shifting the focus and strategy of two large, unwieldy chains is an extremely difficult task, exacerbated by increased competition from other channels and something called e-commerce.

In 2016, Lampert concentrated on the efficiency and, when necessary, the shuttering, of underperforming locations; enhancing the company’s Shop Your Way customer loyalty program; its Sears Home Services Business; and leveraging the company’s house brands, Kenmore, Craftsman and Die-Hard to create other opportunities.

See the rest of the 2016 Newsmakers of the Year.