Planet13 - 8:32 am on Mar 4, 2012 (gmt 0)
Quality, value and customer loyalty are something retailers have lost sight off -- only selling on "low price".
Ok, but in the case of Sears, they don't really seem to have a consistent message. How did you know that Craftsman tools (or the garden hose or the knife) had a lifetime warranty?
I'm guessing the same way I knew; my dad told me. Or some mechanic friend of mine who was a total gearhead told me. Or I noticed it on the warranty card AFTER I bought it.
But when you walk into a Sears, nothing screams out "lifetime guarantee" or shouts out "High quality" or says "Great Value," does it?
I guess what I am asking is, what is their value proposition? Is it higher quality products without paying premium prices?
If so, I don't think that they really convey that message too well. I don't think the way they have their stores set up shows higher quality. Nothing distinguishes themselves.
I think a good contrast is with a Trader Joes (sorry that I realize they are not in every state just yet). They have developed this sort of cult of personality that their products are somehow higher quality, and their prices are reasonable. They give off the impression of being a "boutique" super market (even though they are part of a very large German grocery chain).