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How Does Sears Stay In Business?
Planet13




msg:4358030
 4:57 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hey there, Everyone:

yesterday I went to a mega mall for the first time in probably about a year.

Lots of shoppers at Target, lots of shoppers at BestBuy, and the other big box stores.

Strolled into a Sears and the place was like a ghost town.

Does anybody know how they stay afloat? It looks like they are in direct competition with the targets, costcos, walmarts, and all the other discount brands?

What is (or was) Sear's Value Proposition? (Or did they ever have one?)

 

Hoople




msg:4358045
 5:53 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

They seem to reinvent themselves over the years. During the pre Target time of Bradlees and Caldors existance their clothes were regarded as a higher quality.

My grandmother would rant from time about never buying from them again after a Sears chicken brooder that she felt was the cause of a chicken house fire in 1929! My father and I thought the cause was my great uncles' drinking habits.

Leosghost




msg:4358069
 6:47 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

My grandmother would rant from time about never buying from them again after a Sears chicken brooder that she felt was the cause of a chicken house fire in 1929! My father and I thought the cause was my great uncles' drinking habits.


There is the potential for a fine blues song in there ..stop me someone ..OH cra^^^^ too late.


"I woke up this mawnin, crawled outtah mah bed"

"Barn wuz a smokin' sky wuz all red"

"Mah granmaw wuz cryin"

"Chikkens afire"..

"Uncle sez heez quit drinkin..

"I think heez a liar"

"She sez its the brooder"

"She got 'im from Sears"

"Now she goin' be rantin"

"'Bout it fer years"

"My daddy done tole me , that it wuz the booze"

"Yer uncles still drinkin', 'n that aint good nooz"

####....geetarh break and harmonica solo ...####


"'N as to the next verse"

"Ah leave it to yooze"


the foregoing may or may not scan ..depends on which blues y'all heard most of ..me ..I remember blind lemon chitlin ..cheech and chong..especially his "Goin down town" ..YMMV ;-)

There's enough muso's and lyricists here most days to shake a song and a tune together..

wheel




msg:4358083
 7:37 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

We're not exclusive to Sears,but we buy many larger items there. Appliances for example, my furnace and air condition, big ticket items.

Their service is absolutely unparalleled - out of this world. And they have parts for anything.

Buy something and it is somehow less than perfect, they dispatch someone right away to correct it. Need a part for something you bought there 20 years ago? Their parts store will have it.

I've got family members who do shop Sears like it's costco, they'd buy their groceries there if they could.

Demaestro




msg:4358099
 8:40 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think their order catalogue service still does really well in rural areas.

In the mega mall by my house the store is usually quite busy.

lawman




msg:4358107
 8:57 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Big appliances and tools come from Sears. I wait for the sales - they run some doozies from time to time, especially on hand tools and power tools.

Leosghost




msg:4358112
 9:01 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

How much does one of their paper catalogs weigh ?

lawman




msg:4358113
 9:03 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>How much does one of their paper catalogs weigh ?

Just put a fresh one in the out house. Let me weigh it.

Leosghost




msg:4358121
 9:19 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

So ?

Marshall




msg:4358135
 9:46 pm on Sep 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Here's why I like Sears.
I was remodeling my kitchen and order a double built-in oven in black. They delivered it, in a box, which I did not open as I was not ready to install it yet. Time availability being what it is, it was nearly a year before I was ready to install the ovens (doing all the work myself) When I opened the box, to my surprise, the ovens were white. I called them and the next day they brought the correct ones and picked up the white ones. I was surprised that after nearly a year they would do that and did not say something like "you should have looked at it when it was delivered." They also have the best tool replacement policy around.

lawman




msg:4358197
 2:32 am on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

>>So ?

Sorry, somebody already used some of it. ;)

creeking




msg:4358215
 4:14 am on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

"Ah leave it to yooze"



"Barn wuz a smokin' sky wuz all red"

wish'd i'da stayed in bed.

damn chickens squawkin' like they's wanted to be fed.

"Barn wuz a smokin' sky wuz all red"


brooder, ah, brooder, why you do me so wrong?

you was the only brooder for me,.....

onepointone




msg:4358218
 4:48 am on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

How Does Sears Stay In Business?


I saw a story not long ago. Sears picked as one the brands that will disappear in 2012.

Planet13




msg:4358234
 6:46 am on Sep 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I saw a story not long ago. Sears picked as one the brands that will disappear in 2012.


I seem to remember reading that. I think it was CNN / Money online where I saw it.

I know they built their name on tools (craftsman, which carry a lifetime warranty, if I am not mistaken) and appliances, which others have noted have great service.

I seem to remember that maybe it was easy to get a credit card there back when it was difficult to get credit cards. I think that might have been part of the allure.

But now, what do they stand for? Low prices? Superior Service? Latest trends? Biggest selection?

Kind of worries me in a way when I see big brands like sears and goodguys and circuit city and compusa drop the ball like they did; makes me think that if the big corporations can't really get it together, then small fry like myself must always be on the edge of oblivion...

ChanandlerBong




msg:4358925
 12:45 am on Sep 6, 2011 (gmt 0)


I saw a story not long ago. Sears picked as one the brands that will disappear in 2012.


...alongside Planet Earth, of course.

wheel




msg:4359514
 3:25 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

But now, what do they stand for? Low prices? Superior Service? Latest trends? Biggest selection?

Companies lose their focus. Some of that's the walmart impact I think.

There's a car parts company in the country where I live, an absolute icon. People go to the store just to browse.

Now they're sending me grocery flyers. And getting into banking. And life insurance. Like, what? it's a retail store, why am I getting bank card offers from them?

As one friend says, keep diversifying until you find something to lose all your money at. Or as another friend says, only expand into areas that touch what you're doing now. And none of groceries, banking, or life insurance have anything to do with what they're doing now.

Personally I'd think they'd be better off taking their extra money and lowering prices or getting aggressive somewhere else. Dominate what they're doing and expand into what they're doing. But instead they're letting the walmarts of the world compete with them on autoparts (I shop both this store and walmart for auto stuff now), and not neccessarily winning, AND they're competing with grocery stores, banks, and insurance companies - sectors they're not familiar with and have no advantage in. They just had money, so they decided to enter into the market.

Planet13




msg:4359534
 4:03 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

As one friend says, keep diversifying until you find something to lose all your money at.


A Ha! So they have adopted MY business strategy ;)

Or as another friend says, only expand into areas that touch what you're doing now.


That seems logical. But then there are the target's and walmart's of the world that do expand into diverse areas (groceries, optomitrists, etc), and they have somehow succeeded.

Personally I'd think they'd be better off taking their extra money and lowering prices or getting aggressive somewhere else. Dominate what they're doing and expand into what they're doing. But instead they're letting the walmarts of the world compete with them on autoparts (I shop both this store and walmart for auto stuff now), and not neccessarily winning, AND they're competing with grocery stores, banks, and insurance companies - sectors they're not familiar with and have no advantage in.


I would agree. The only times I hear people mention the word Sears around here is when they are talking about tools, or about tires / car batteries. I am not so sure that Sears is still a player for appliances here in Northern California (although it sounds like they have a good reputation for that throughout the rest of North America).

I guess the other question I have is, how did the relative new comers (walmart, costco, target) displace the other discount chains (JC Penny, Woolworths, Sears, etc.,). It seems like the biggest target is the hardest one to hit, yet those companies succeeded in relegating the established companies to also ran.

wheel




msg:4359552
 4:27 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

That seems logical. But then there are the target's and walmart's of the world that do expand into diverse areas (groceries, optomitrists, etc), and they have somehow succeeded.

Because Walmart isn't into groceries or optometristy. They're into general retail at low prices. So as long as they stay related to that, they'll do fine.

For example, you might get some nice glasses at Walmart, but you wouldn't find the latest NY city eyewear fashion there - that's not what they do.

Walmart is an example of very tightly focused on what they do.

And they seem to be able to do it without turning the store into a low end dump, which I think has been the failure of many of the other general merchandise stores.

J_RaD




msg:4359584
 5:37 pm on Sep 7, 2011 (gmt 0)


Their service is absolutely unparalleled - out of this world. And they have parts for anything.

Buy something and it is somehow less than perfect, they dispatch someone right away to correct it. Need a part for something you bought there 20 years ago? Their parts store will have it.


YEP! you won't find that at any of the other stores and sure as heck won't at best buy... next time you have to buy a big ticket item roll in to sears 1st, service is way better.

break a tool? walk in and grab a new one no questions asked.

CMidd




msg:4380142
 1:01 pm on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Financing, Insurance.

They make more money from interest on the products, and insurance "warranties, protection plans, etc" then the products themselves.

interest on a $1000 item could add up to $300, and the interest is on the retail prices, not wholesale cost. Meaning a $1000 item could cost $500-$600 wholesale. Add $49.99 to $99.99 insurance plan that typically yield 80% profit. And they are rolling in dough.

Also include interest, penalty "late fee, etc" on low credits lines "things like clothing, consumer electronic, etc" and you have a ton of recurring income Interest + Fee charged on Retail "not wholesale".

They can finance $150 "wholesale" worth of clothing, that retail for $500, and earn 9% to 19.99% interest "plus possible late payment fees" on $500 (from $150).

I read an article somewhere, that Sears operates more like a Bank then a retail store, and it's finance division generates the bulk of it's revenue.

rocknbil




msg:4380273
 5:07 pm on Oct 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sears is where you go after a bankruptcy, college, or any other condition in which you have limited chances to establish or rebuild credit. Sears will take you. :-) Sears is the gateway to the privilege of being in debt.

I just visited one recently and maybe the uncrowded aisles are a bit of an attraction. But I did notice one thing - it's not the Sears I remember from youth, it's more like a K-Mart or even Wal-Mart. Most of their clothing lines used to be pretty much exclusive, looks to me like they've opened up for generic low cost brands. They sell a lot of stuff today you wouldn't expect in the Sears of Yesteryears - the one I went to even had a small organic food section. :-P

Hoople




msg:4401693
 2:02 pm on Dec 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Looks like their luck has changed.

Posted today - "Sears Closing 100-Plus Stores: Report" [nbcchicago.com...]

StoutFiles




msg:4401694
 2:11 pm on Dec 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sears has been running on a new business model as of late: Tread water as long as possible to continue to get those big executive salaries. I put a fork in Sears when they let their namesake get changed to Willis Tower.

Planet13




msg:4401782
 8:33 pm on Dec 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sears has been running on a new business model as of late: Tread water as long as possible to continue to get those big executive salaries.


well, I think you might be on to something.

But seriously, what is the Value Proposition that Sears presents to their shoppers?

As incrediBill mentioned, they used to have more exclusive brands in the past. now it seems like they are trying to comepete with the targets and wal-marts of the world - and losing.

ken_b




msg:4401795
 10:03 pm on Dec 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Serice at Sears?

That's a joke, right?

At least it is at the Sears stores around here.

I tried to buy a lawn mower at my local Sears last fall. They couldn't even get it out the door after waiting a week for it to get to the store.

When I complained to the store manager, she told me the shipping room guy wasn't very bright.

This was after I gave up on using a phone call to finding out if it had gotten to the store yet. Actually that was 3 calls.

The local hardware store sold me a new Toro and had me on my way in twenty minutes. Same money, lots better service, and they service the Toros right there, they are a Toro service center.

No more Sears for me. Don't even get me started on Kmart...... sigh.

Planet13




msg:4401834
 12:09 am on Dec 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

No more Sears for me. Don't even get me started on Kmart...... sigh.


I would have to admit that my experiences with Sears have been similar to yours...

lawman




msg:4401844
 12:53 am on Dec 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

I guess I better hurry up and use my sears gift cards. We get good service at our local sears. I hope they stick around.

outland88




msg:4402010
 9:50 pm on Dec 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Talk too many and you’ll find Sears appliance service has gone down the toilet in the past five years. It’s that bad. They’re subbing out everything. About all the repair people in my area, which is large, have thick Russian accents. The employees explained they used American aliases for business names and identities because people in the US were not accepting of foreign names. One day they would be using these names the next those. Also many are not licensed plumbers or electricians as they claimed. This company actually was the sole service provider for Sears in three states. Also be on guard about paying for building code upgrades even on full replacement warranties with Sears. Many states don’t require them if it’s a “swap out” of less than $5000 with an older home. Typically the homes were grandfathered in with past state legislation. In most cases you’ll also do better price and quality wise hiring licensed pros for installation and service.

As for customer service you’ll find Sears has a true headless monster. They’ll switch you to literally hundreds of phone operators who have the power to do nothing.

Bottom line is I don’t know if it’s the state of this country or you won’t get worse elsewhere. Play it right and you’ll meet some pretty honest and decent plumbers, AC Heating, electricians, etc for future relationships.

Gibble




msg:4402016
 10:37 pm on Dec 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

I was walking through Sears a few weeks ago, and we sell a lot of our products (clothing) through them in Canada. I was disgusted. Displays were messy, and oddly, it looked crowded, which is strange, since they have much more space than the little shops in the heart of the mall, yet, they used it so poorly...

I was trying to get service to find something and the associate points to someone else, who is being mobbed by 15 other customers, and tells me, it's that lady's department, not hers. ...so I left.

They may have a lot of staff, but they only know their little island between the walkways, anything outside of it, and they just pass you off. Forget it.

buckworks




msg:4403805
 12:25 am on Jan 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sears Distressed as Investors Reject Closings: Corporate Finance

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Sears Holdings Corp.'s bonds have crossed into distressed territory as its plan to close as many as 120 locations may fail to stem more than four years of declining sales and prevent it from using up cash as profitability wanes.

Read more: [sfgate.com...]

This 60 message thread spans 2 pages: 60 ( [1] 2 > >
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