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Survival In Doubt, Sears Struggles To Transform

Posted: 04-20-2017 01:16 AM
by Riddick
One of the biggest names in retail a century ago, in those early days, Sears Roebuck and Co. was like Amazon is today — a retailer of great disruption.

For Sears, it meant a path-breaking strategy of offering all sorts of merchandise in catalogs and building department stores in remote places with ample parking. Now, even Sears officials say its future could be in doubt — though they say they have plans to make sure the retail icon survives.

Sears' stature is far smaller these days amid a constantly changing retail landscape that brought with it the dominance of Amazon, the rise of e-commerce and big-box discount retailers. It has left brick-and-mortar stores reeling. Despite its merger with Kmart in 2005, Sears has consistently lost millions of dollars each quarter.

In a memo, CEO Eddie Lampert says Sears is taking decisive action to return to profitability and to become a new kind of retailer. Some analysts accuse Lampert of sucking the value out of the company, selling off its most marketable assets.

Then there's that line in Sears' recent annual report to federal regulators that states "substantial doubt exists related to the Company's ability to continue as a going concern." Leena Munjal, a Sears senior vice president in charge of retail operations, says reports of the company's demise are exaggerated.

"Do we have challenges? Absolutely," she says. "Just like many of the retailers out there and we are all trying to figure out what are the changes we need to make to our business models to be able to rise to those challenges."

Sears' transformation plan includes a membership program called Shop Your Way. Customers collect points they can redeem when they shop at Sears. The company has also worked on ways to make it more convenient for customers to shop online, or on their phones.

There are loyal past shoppers who haven't been in a Sears for years. Susan Mullen has fond memories of the store, but says she's not sure Sears' efforts to transform itself will work.

"It fits no niche. It's not a discount place. It's not high end," Mullen says. "It has no identity anymore. I guess it tried to be everything to everybody and it was very successful at that. But now it's nothing to nobody, which is sad."


The Decline Of Kmart...What Happened?

Posted: 06-02-2017 12:37 AM
by Riddick
The future of Kmart doesn't look bright. This video tells how Kmart got where they are today, their current situation, and predictions for the future of the company.

A List Of Sears & Kmart Stores Closing In September

Posted: 06-03-2018 02:46 AM
by Riddick
And The Slide Into Oblivion Continues... ... g-list.pdf

Including my burg, would you believe there's only 7 Kmarts left in Wisconsin? That's one more than Sears full line stores, and 2 of the 6 are in Madison! Interestingly enough Puerto Rico has 21 Kmarts. And 10 full line Sears. With about 2 million fewer people.

The Sears nearest here was initially set for a major remodel/carving out, but instead it's ceased to be. Last fall thinking I should see what it was like before I lost the opportunity, I went in... IIRC before that was a decade or better... Maybe twice as long since I bought anything!! (Fact is, I left empty handed this last time too.)

Sears Will Close Its Last Department Store This Fall

Posted: 09-21-2021 11:17 PM
by Riddick
The last remaining Sears department store, located in the retailer’s home state Illinois, where its first store opened in 1925, will close November 14. Transformco, which acquired Sears Holding in 2018 after the company filed for bankruptcy, wants to focus on growing Sears' online store and the Sears Home Services business.

Sears will keep its 11 Sears Hometown Stores in Illinois that operate primarily in small towns. These stores are significantly smaller than Sears department stores and sell mainly hard goods and appliances. FULL STORY