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Sears, Other Retailers Reel From
Gales Of ´Creative Destruction´

Investor´s Business Daily, by Terry Jones

Original Article

Posted By:RockyTCB, 1/6/2017 7:11:44 AM

Sears. Macy´s. Kohl´s. Traditional department store retailers have taken hard hits over the Christmas holidays, with sales lagging the generally robust performance of retailers overall. Now, these mall stalwarts are slashing thousands of jobs and hundreds of stores, trying to right-size themselves. It´s no coincidence. Sears on Thursday became the latest retailer to announce that it was restructuring after a weak Christmas season. It´s closing 150 Sears and Kmart stores and selling its iconic Craftsman tool brand for just under a billion dollars to Stanley Black & Decker. Meanwhile, Macy´s is letting 10,000 people go. And Kohl´s warned about its decline


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Reply 1 - Posted by: Judith, 1/6/2017 7:31:26 AM     (No. 11096908)

Is this the result of the powerful amazon? How did amazon do in sales? Decades ago, there would have been a comprehensive article detailing how each company did, why it did well or poorly and what could be done, in the future, to correct the problems. Now we get bits and pieces of info and the sky-is-falling hysteria.

Reply 2 - Posted by: jeffkinnh, 1/6/2017 7:42:27 AM     (No. 11096919)

Well, I can tell you part of the problem. When I shop for something I check out competitive prices. Sears usually costs more for the same thing (same brand and model). Often a LOT more. I have stopped looking at Sears except for Craftsman tools and clothes (personal taste items). But I don´t buy many clothes from Sears because their style is blah.

I used to work for Data General. They produced a PC that was selling for $7000 when competitive models were $4000. I asked how we could compete at that price? I was told it was one of the best machines on the market. It wasn´t and even if it was, it was ridiculously overpriced. Data General is out of business yet we still have a productive computer industry today.

Companies need to be competitive and there are constantly new competitors nipping at their heels. Purchases will continue to be made but at other stores. Sears may die but the other stores will grow stronger.

And the consumer wins with better products at more affordable prices.




Reply 3 - Posted by: harleynyc, 1/6/2017 7:50:43 AM     (No. 11096926)

Sears should become an automall for multiple car, truck, farm, and all recreational vehicles, and eliminate the non profit departments.

Reply 4 - Posted by: mijcraw, 1/6/2017 7:53:54 AM     (No. 11096930)

Sometimes a back to the roots approach is required. While competition is beginning to be a huge hurdle for these retailers in large population areas (who could blame customers for not wanting to fight all that traffic and mass crowds), they may want to have their on renaissance and go back to the small dying towns across the south and Midwest and create two rebirths at the same time (dying towns and their own hope).

Reply 5 - Posted by: winnie1, 1/6/2017 7:55:29 AM     (No. 11096931)

When are these Retail stores going to be honest. I for one and many of my friends use the internet to shop because we don´t want to put up with things like Black Lives Matter, smash & Grab, muggings and flash mobs. This is also happening with inside and outside Mauls. In the summer it happens in amusement parks and beaches and town fairs. We need a new sheriff in town pronto before these thugs bankrupt the USA.

Reply 6 - Posted by: earlybird, 1/6/2017 8:01:57 AM     (No. 11096935)

Their merchandising managers don’t know what they are doing. Don’t know their markets. Filling stores full of ugly, badly constructed merchandise at high prices, then immediately discounting.

Cutting staff is always a bad idea. And the ones who are there need to be trained.

I spent a number of years in retail, starting when I was only 14. In a very good local department store. I trained in merchandising, although I did not end up spending my life in that career. What I see makes me sick.

Reply 7 - Posted by: angelesgift, 1/6/2017 8:22:40 AM     (No. 11096967)

I also want to point out that I often shop on-line because I can get more information about the product, read reviews, and get what works for me instead of wasting money on shoddy items (with misleading packaging) that don´t meet my expectations at local stores.




Reply 8 - Posted by: Udanja99, 1/6/2017 8:36:02 AM     (No. 11096985)

I live outside DC in Northern Virginia, which is chock full of immigrants and the reason, along with DC bureaucrats who live here, that the state is no longer red. The nearest Macy´s is at Dulles Town Center Mall and most of the employees on the floor are not Americans and don´t speak English very well. That´s the reason I no longer shop there. I´ve also noticed that foreigners don´t understand customer service the way we do it.

I buy pretty much everything except groceries online. My favorite clothing company and numerous other sites where I shop have free shipping. Why would I go out and deal with the traffic and waste gas and my time going to a department store?

Reply 9 - Posted by: Felixcat, 1/6/2017 9:27:37 AM     (No. 11097064)

Re #8 - we´re neighbors, so to speak. I shop at the local Sears because of the Landsend merchandise only. Shopping at a Kohls, etc is like shopping in a Third world country - clerks who speak poor English or are covered up from head to toe. The stores, especially Kohls, always look like a tornado ripped through.

I´ll drive 45 minutes to the northwest to shop at a Talbots rather than drive into Northern Virginia/Fairfax Co.

Reply 10 - Posted by: daisymay, 1/6/2017 9:31:28 AM     (No. 11097071)

Hubby and I were talking about Sears last evening. We remember the day when a husband and wife would go to Sears, he would head to the Automotive department and she would head for Ladies clothing and Housewares. That was the 50´s and 60´s. Fast forward to present day shopping. Sears still has great appliances and Craftsman tools and Mowers. But, their clothing and housewares leave a lot to be desired. It gave up the Ladies shopping dollars by importing low grade clothing. If I wanted that I would shop at K-Mart! Then they gave up their Catalog, which I used all the time for Linens, drapery, Bedspreads and Rugs. Those goods were great quality at a fair price. I think it was someone in Sears Tower making bad decisions on who their marketing Target was. So, today, where I live we have a Stand Alone Sears store that only carries Appliances, Lawn mowers and Vacuum cleaners.

Reply 11 - Posted by: JHHolliday, 1/6/2017 9:34:22 AM     (No. 11097076)

E Commerce is the wave of the future. Maybe Sears can go back to being a catalog store with the catalog online but I don´t hold out much hope. The future is just not very bright for brick and mortar stores. I buy a lot of stuff online. Several posters have outlined the reasons...simple convenience is one of them. Unless it´s something I need today (food) then it´s likely to get ordered online.

The weather here in North Georgia is supposed to result in lows in the low teens. I think I´ll order a new ebook to read tonight. I can get it in ten seconds.

Reply 12 - Posted by: msts, 1/6/2017 9:43:58 AM     (No. 11097086)

Its simply technology destroying their business model, and in the case of Sears, duplicating its original business model. Sears became successful as a catalog store, which is all the internet based retail sector is. Without blaming flash mobs, why would I want or need to get up, get dressed, go out and shop at store after store if instead I was offered a better alternative. News and print media have already been replaced. Retail sales are being replaced. The next big change I see is direct ordering of automobiles wiht the car dealer eliminated. This is what creative destruction is and the basis of capitalism. When efforts are made to save obsolete business models we are given less choice and higher prices.




Reply 13 - Posted by: Lawsy0, 1/6/2017 9:44:02 AM     (No. 11097087)

We had to leave the malls or be killed, bombed, mugged or taken advantage of in a hundred other ways. You could even be shot in the parking lot by pulling into a spot. I won´t even go to Toys R Us because the Entitled Escalades will run you over for the last handicapped spot in front of the store.

Amazon is probably the biggest shop-spot on line but surely not the only one. One store mgr. in my old neighborhood told me the product I wanted was not available because of their ´´demographic.´´ I´m sure he meant ethnicity, but PC wouldn´t allow him to clarify. So a combine of Obama, poor economy, amazonian over-reach and political correctness kept me from the mall. Black Lives Matter will keep me from the malls in perpetuity.

Reply 14 - Posted by: Nevadadad46, 1/6/2017 10:50:41 AM     (No. 11097191)

What #13 said, x2. Wife and I used to go to the mall at least four or five times a month and buy big, at least $200.00 in purchases each visit. then the "Mexican invasion" began at Sears. The multi-language packaging, and on every shelf, the Spanish language sides of the boxes turned out. The constant Spanish announcement with no English, the trouble finding an English speaking clerk, Hispanic music on the p.a. Then the rudeness in the food courts- screeching, screaming blacks, the shoving at the counter, and worst of all, being ignored by the service persons in favor of some "Minority" in line. And the vulgar language, having to stand forever behind some idiot texting on his/her cell phone in front of the entrace to the escalator.

Wife and I both decided, it is just not worth it. Thank God for Amazon, Lowes, Best-Buy, Koles and Walmart- And Walmart now is starting to go uncomfortable, too. Both customers and service people are getting rude, indifferent, sullen and crass.

Reply 15 - Posted by: wsdiego, 1/6/2017 11:48:14 AM     (No. 11097287)

How are UPS and FedEx stocks doing?

Reply 16 - Posted by: kgjj, 1/6/2017 11:48:54 AM     (No. 11097289)

The next business, although I am sure they do not think of themselves as businesses, that need an updated business model are American universities and colleges. There is no American business with a more bloated, wasteful ridiculous business model that todays universities and colleges. Ninety percent of the dirt, brick and mortar aspect of universities and colleges need to be swept into the dark ages. Soon, their customers, students and those who pay on behalf of students, will start demanding accountability with regard to the value that universities and colleges add to their students in exchange for the money they pay. Their day of reckoning is coming.

Reply 17 - Posted by: Peach1, 1/6/2017 12:28:42 PM     (No. 11097325)

Sears should transform all their brick and mortar stores into warehouses to stock inventory, and go completely online.




Reply 18 - Posted by: msjena, 1/6/2017 12:51:40 PM     (No. 11097363)

How is Nordstrom doing? I like shopping there: the store is clean and not run-down, the salespeople are friendly and helpful, the merchandise is attractively displayed. It´s quite a contrast with the ubiquitous Macy´s (Messy´s), where the merchandise is pile high on "sale" tables, the store looks dirty, the carpeting looks old and the sales staff is indifferent.

Reply 19 - Posted by: enemyofthestate, 1/6/2017 1:01:35 PM     (No. 11097381)

I think Macy´s merchandise is fine. The problem is the mall in which it is located. Every time I need a certain item, especially one I need to try on, at Macy´s I am compelled to consider how likely it is that the mall will get shot up at the time and day I am in the mall. And I live in a medium-size city that is perceived "safe." As it is, I enter Macy´s from the outside, not through the hallways of the mall.

Reply 20 - Posted by: BigGeorgeTX, 1/6/2017 4:02:10 PM     (No. 11097639)

The handwriting was on the wall for brick and mortar stores, especially in malls, because they´ve become popular places for feral teens to congregate and loiter. Who needs the headache? Anything you want can be obtained online, with full statistics, price comparison options and delivered to your door, often for less than brick and mortar stores, even considering P&H.

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