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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Blue Friday

We'll update this post when the Black Friday /Thanksgiving week sales scores are out, but in speculation of SHLD's open-for-Thanksgiving strategy, there have been mixed reports of some Sears and kmart stores with "100's" of people in line, and others with more employees than shoppers. Sears was open for the first time, it claimed, on Thanksgiving, from 7am-12pm, while Kmart continued its new tradition of opening on Thanksgiving, until 9pm!

Given a typical Kmart store's permanent staffing of 50 to 120 employees, likely averaging around 70, it would be highly difficult to staff the store at full crowd-control level on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, especially given the extended hours, and especially given the need to de-clutter/restock/reprice items in the store in between (and during!) the busy days. Anyone know how many temporary staff were hired per store? Or what the Black Friday week results were? Kmart was prominently featured on several news reports, including NBC Nightly News, during their annual news-filler on Black Friday shopping, and Sears received a lot of publicity for being open on Thanksgiving.

Finally, Sears stores are seriously lagging in sales, so we wonder how much of a boost Black Friday was. Apple sells $11.8 million per store, Best Buy $9.1, but Sears only $2.3 million sales per store. Granted, only 18% of Apple sales are in its stores, but still, Sears stores generally are underperforming by most metrics, including sales per square foot, and profitability. It will take a great Thanksgiving to return Sears and Kmart to consumer minds, something increasingly difficult given the lack of investment in most of SHLD's stores.

Anyway, we'll update this post next week with more sales results. And next month, more Kmart store pictures!


  1. As a sales associate for 4276 in Toledo, OH, I hope I can help you fill in on some details.

    Our staffing level is roughly 70 permanent employees with around 30 temporary associates hired for October through the second week of January.

    Sales for last Thanksgiving were $59,000 and we finished 10% over last year's figures. Black Friday sales were $196,000 and we finished at $192,000 (however, while we did not match last year's number, we did perform 8.8% over sales plan). On Saturday we did $56,000 last year and finished 16% over last year's numbers.

    Our store (which is a 86,000 square foot store) performed at the top of our district and almost beat the Fremont store (which is a Super Kmart).

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