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If Sears Goes Away, These 3 Retailers Will Benefit Most

There are still plenty of greenbacks up for grabs.

It may not be a stretch to guess which Big Three national chains would stand to gain the most should Sears shuffle off this mortal coil.

What’s more remarkable is the reminder from UBS analyst Michael Lasser that the company still likely generated more than $11 billion in hard- and softlines sales last year, including CE and appliances.

Lasser, cited in a report by CNBC, pointed to Best Buy, Lowe’s and The Home Depot as the biggest beneficiaries of Sears’ inexorable store closings, due to their proximity and overlapping product mix.

According to UBS, about 80 percent of Sears stores are within a 15-minute drive of its appliance rivals, each of which shares Top Four status on TWICE’s annual Major Appliance Retailers Report. The TWICE ranking also attributes approximately $3.8 billion in white-goods sales to Sears in 2016, which would be up for grabs should CEO Eddie Lampert pull the plug on the iconic retail chain.

Sears’ CE business, while still a considerable chunk of change at $1.3 billion in 2016 according to TWICE estimates, is declining rapidly as the retailer transitions out of the category and, together with its e-commerce operations, is less a consideration than are majaps.

See: Sears Transforming Its CE Business

Should Sears close all 1,100 stores, UBS estimates that Best Buy’s comp sales would rise 250 basis points, Lowe’s’ would increase by 170 basis points, and Home Depot would enjoy a 140 basis-point lift, while earnings per share could jump by 10 percent, 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively, CNBC reported.

Evading UBS’s radar are the nation’s independent appliance dealers. Though a disparate channel comprised of thousands of local and regional businesses, these retailers most closely mirror Sears’ highly-assisted sales floor, while the buying groups they belong to are actively targeting the chain’s customers and market share. Two good reasons why they should not be discounted in the Hoffman Estates land grab.

See: Nationwide Siphoning Sears, hhgregg Shoppers