The ultimate Sears demise can be avoided
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
13 January 2014
A Sears demise not yet inevitable
Brian Sozzi of Belus Capital Advisors claims that a Sears demise is looming.
The news last week was pretty bad. For the fourth quarter, the company said comparable store sales for the entire chain were running at a negative 7.4% through the first week of January. For the fiscal year, Sears now expects “adjusted” losses between $811 and $914 million.
“Are they at the point when they will slay sacred cows, dismiss the experts that brought them to this point and invest in changes that won’t pay off until it is executed across the brand?”
Here is what I would tell them:
“Guys, the secret to turning Sears around is in stealing market share from the competition. You need to create a preference for the brand that goes beyond the old answers and tired brands. You need to be able to measure that importance by getting the prospective customers in the door without always having to have the cheapest price.”
Then the cold, hard truth.
“Everything needs to be on the table and you need to be willing to challenge all the ‘industry experts’ that have failed you miserably. How Sears will get out of this spiral, well, I don’t have that answer but I know how to find it. Give me three months and we will be able to tell you what the answers are. Then we need to make sure that the brand is not only relevant and important to those that have ignored you, but also that what you claim to be (the highest emotional intensity) is true.”
Will Sears listen? Heck, I’ll bet no one ever even calls. I’ll bet Lampert and Boire have industry experts and consultants driving everything they are doing. I’ll bet the pressures of Wall Street will have them grasping (gasping?) at straws.
What they don’t have is our expertise. We know how to position brands to steal market share. If Sears does not need that ability…then they should not call me.
Are they at the point when they will slay sacred cows, dismiss the experts that brought them to this point and invest in changes that won’t pay off until it is executed across the brand? We will see. Maybe they think Madison Avenue can advertise them out of this position. Maybe not. I am fond of the old brand and would like nothing more than putting Sears back on the retail map.
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