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Friday, September 9, 2011

Layaway Competition

Apparently Kmart and Sears garnered enough attention from their Layaway program that now Wal-Mart is reviving their layaway program for this year's holiday season, and has already gotten widespread positive attention from its shopper base, many of whom SHLD bragged that Kmart had lured over with its layaway program. So now that these shoppers are going back to Wal-Mart, which is also experimenting with various size store formats (think Wal-Mart Express), will this holiday season mark another dismal sales record for Kmart? In the past decade, Kmart has slipped from being close to Target in sales to a distant fourth (or even lower, depending on which stores one counts in the category) in its category of sales.

Furthermore, SHLD has decided to sell Craftsman at Costco, further diluting any semblance of brand leverage that Sears still retains in its oftentimes shoddy stores. First, Craftsman sold at Kmart - well, maybe that's OK because it is still the same company; then at ACE/TruValue Hardware stores, now Costco...
So what is the future of SHLD? The company since the merger has been quite disappointing, with some poorly-executed cheap ideas (Sears Essentials anyone?) that may have had the potential to succeed given more investment, but alas, everything in the world is impermanent, with even former #1 in sales retailers (actually, both Sears and Kmart were tops in the categories in the past) possibly turning into mere memories.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Updates

Sorry, been busy with work. Will have another store photo or Super Kmart post up within a week or two once things settle down more! But in the meantime, Sears Holdings announced another disappointing quarter financially (any surprise here?) and 29 more store closings (sound familiar? kind of the theme for the past decade...) include 3 full Sears and 10 Kmart stores. These include Kmart stores in Spokane WA, Orlando FL (the previous post actually!!!! 40 years of that store, gone, perhaps for the better of that area... although it supposedly employed 91 people, seems a bit high), Cary NC, Ocala FL, and Burlington WI (55 employees). That's 5 out of the 10... anyone know the full Kmart list? Although it's getting so hard to keep track with store closings seemingly announced every few months!
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