Sears and Macy’s. Going Out of Business.

Sears and Macy’s. Already dead.

Sears and Macy’s. Going Out of Business.

Are Sears and Macy’s in the throes of a death struggle?

The problem with Sears and Macy’s won’t be solved with store consolidation, liquidation or closures. And the problem is bigger than those two venerable department store chains. The problem is industry wide and no one in the industry gives a damn.

I’m not saying that the Sears and Macy’s management team doesn’t care.

I’m not saying that retail consultants don’t care. What I’m saying is that neither group of retail gurus have a clue.

They are clueless to the problem. And I mean that. Clueless.

Anyone can solve a problem once you know what the problem is. The difficulty for Sears and Macy’s is that the retail management of both department store chains WON’T look at the REAL problem. They would rather treat symptoms.

The symptoms are that both department store brands are hemorrhaging money. Sales are down and people are choosing competitors.

Consumer spending at RETAIL is healthy. Just not at Sears and Macy’s

To solve the problem at Sears and Macy’s they need a revolution. The trouble is that management wants evolution. They are hell bent on preserving the retail model itself.

That will be too little too late for these two retail dinosaurs.

Unless Sears and Macy’s recognizes that they need to completely reinvent the department store model.

They will both be out of business within two years.

There is no differentiation between department store chains now. Belks, Macy’s Dillards… they are all the same

“Sears and Macy’s current strategy is akin to cutting back on meals to save money for food.”

Sears and Macy’s don’t listen too much. I have been writing for years now that they need to completely rethink their retail business model. And neither brand has called to ask how?  Don’t think I am egotistical and that what I write is a must read.

But everyone knows that marketing departments and management monitor their brands. It is certain that both Sears and Macy’s are seeing what you are reading right now. If not, they have even bigger problems.

They don’t want to hear the problem

The problem is they don’t want to hear what I say because they need massive changes. Not cosmetic fixes.

They must change almost everything about their store and business model. Sears and Macy’s don’t want to do that. But unfortunately that is what they NEED.

Sears and Macy’s are sinking fast.

Just read the news. Store closings and belt tightening.

I’m a member of Retail Wire’s Brain Trust. It’s the retail industry’s on-line journal of record. And my comments on the retail category are solicited there. (You can read some of my comments at Retail Wire here if you like.)

I think I win the prize at Retail Wire’s grouping of retail experts in thumbs down reactions.

That’s because I am critical of retail today. Readers and other experts are mostly cheerleaders. Retail experts don’t want to admit that the emperor is naked. But he is.

Sears and Macy’s might as well be NBA teams rather than department stores

They prefer (Sears and Macy’s) to act like an NBA team. You know the drill.

Lose lots of games. But make the playoffs anyway (because everyone makes the playoffs).

Then fire the coach and turn right around and hire the coach that just got fired from another NBA team.

It’s retail (basketball) insanity. But it is WHAT they do. They keep looking for answers in the same places. They keep failing in the same ways.

But what the hell? No one gets blamed because they did something. They hired a consultant from the industry.

They actually believe that retail experts have new ideas. Try this. Go see a surgeon. I’ll bet he recommends surgery.

”Will Rogers once said that “If FDR gets elected and the White house catches fire and burns to the ground. We will say at least he got something started.”

Retailing is PROCESS driven

This is process gone mad. Activity is not accomplishment. And there are solutions.

But Sears and Macy’s don’t want to hear them. They want to listen to the old boy network of opinions by experts raised in the industry.

We published a solution to the Sears and Macy’s problem months ago

It’s a call for a reimagining of department stores.

We had it printed and actually sent copies to the Sears and Macy’s management team.

We sent it to other department stores too. (To download the PDF click here Department Store Brand Thief)

../wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Department-Store-Brand-Thief.pdfSo far no one has called us. (read that article about rebranding and reinventing Department Stores here).

So look around our website. Search for RETAIL as a key word. I am sure you will find dozens of articles, case studies and market studies that include Sears and Macy’s.

Sears and Macy’s might not think we are retail experts. They would be right.

We are experts at changing human behaviors. Stealing Share are experts at persuasion. We are NOT part of the NBA coaching rotation.

Sears and Macy’s can’t go on like this

Can Sears and Macy’s save themselves by spinning off brands and selling them?

And this stupid idea is exactly what Sears is doing.

They are selling their Craftsman brand. I guess there are just no takers for Kenmore? Or is that just around the corner?

What’s next? Will Macy’s sell its Macy’s Mens Store brand to Amazon? Will Sears and Macy’s sell their Juniors departments to Walmart?


Sears and Macy’s real problem is lack of vision

Sears and Macy’s can’t see because they are blind to why they are failing.

They think like department stores. Both think they ARE department stores. They are not. Sears and Macy’s are communications companies.  Just like all the rest of us.

So, they have real estate to support. Infrastructure to maintain and egos to defend. Until they are willing to cannibalize their own current brand model they will surely close up and go away.

Why do I care about Sears and Macy’s?


I care because they are BOTH parts of our old personal identities. Sears and Macy’s are in our fibers.

So, from the Macy’s Day parade, Miracle on 34th Street. To the smell of the Hot Dog Stand in the old Sears Roebuck store in my home town of Trenton NJ. Sears and Macy’s are part of me.

Remember, when you waited anxiously for the Sears Catalog? That died too… Wait a moment. It did not die.

Sears must have spun it off.  Because I think it’s now called Amazon Prime (note my sarcasm).

It’s just another example of how department stores can’t ever see farther than the bridge of their nose.

But, Sears and Macy’s are in the past now. Not the future.

Someday, people will say… “what happened to the Macy’s Day parade?”

The answer.

They all died of BLINDNESS.




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Sears and Macy’s. Going Out of Business. was last modified: August 31st, 2017 by Tom Dougherty
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