Sears: Does anybody care?

Sears entrance

I took this picture outside a Sears store anchoring the Southridge Mall near Milwaukee. It’s a Simon mall including a Macy’s, JCP, Kohl’s and Bon Ton store among its tenants, and the biggest mall by square footage in Wisconsin. The other anchors remodeled all or parts of their stores when Macy’s opened here a couple of years ago.

This is the sight that greets shoppers walking into Sears from the parking lot. (And there is a duplicate poster on the opposite side of the door, looking just the same.) I know that Outdoor Life is an active/casual brand at Sears, and the poster (upon close inspection) is meant to look like a map — I guess. But it doesn’t even fit the frame — unless I’m missing something and that’s intentional, too. Would you assume that at least somebody on the store’s management team is looking at the outside of the store and might try to fix this? (Or a regional manager? Anybody?) If they don’t care about the outside of the store, how about the tired old interior?

This is a small example of the problems that are dragging down Sears, despite its best efforts to tout tactics like layaway, in-store pickup, Sears Your Way, and so forth. The bottom line is that the store experience, from merchandise content to presentation, still matters.

And one more thing, speaking of Sears Your Way: Why does the same Samsung digital point & shoot wifi camera cost $150 at Sears but $90 on Amazon? How does Sears plan to make its omnichannel strategy work if it’s totally uncompetitive?

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