Winners & Losers: Yahoo takes on Snapchat, Sears hits the eject button

Disappearing-message app disappears down Yahoo’s maw

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 Blink

Blink? You missed it

Marissa Mayer adding a Yahoo! exclamation mark to the Blink logo

Would-be Snapchat rivals often don’t last much longer than the photos they (supposedly) delete. But that’s good news for the founders of Blink, an app that lets users send texts, photos and audio clips that self-destruct after a set period of time. Yahoo announced on May 14 it had purchased Blink for an undisclosed sum—though given Blink’s lower profile, the purchase price will surely be less than the $3 billion Facebook recently offered for Snapchat. Blink’s seven-person team will be absorbed into the Yahoo hive that has absorbed—and destroyed—so many startups in years gone by. Whether Yahoo will use this purchase to gain ground over its competitors, or allow Blink to self-destruct like so many of the photos sent through the service, remains to be seen.

 Sears Canada

There’s more for your life at Sears. But not for your bottom line

Abandoned Sears store

(Peter Adams)

Sears has all but thrown in the (reasonably priced wholeHome Egyptian cotton) towel in recent months, closing many of its high-profile retail locations, including its flagship Toronto Eaton Centre store. So it wasn’t much of a surprise when U.S. parent Sears Holdings announced on May 14 that, in the face of its own poor performance south of the border, it was considering divesting its 51% stake in its Canadian arm. That might be easier said than done, however. Sears isn’t exactly the poster child for profitability these days. There’s also the question of Sears Canada’s unmanageable motley crew of holdings, which includes mall-based department stores, big boxes, rural dealer stores, outlets, and travel offices. Somewhere, in the great mall in the sky, Eaton’s is having a chuckle.

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