retail watch

It May Take Divine Intervention to Save Sears From Itself

Posted by Dale Buss on May 22, 2014 12:16 PM

JCPenney and maybe even Target may be pulling out of their sales swoons, but Sears just keeps on crumbling—maybe to a point of no return. 

The thoroughly troubled chain reported a broader net loss, a 7 percent drop in revenue and flat same-store Sears sales for the most recent quarter as it continues to consolidate and pull back, closing stores and spinning off assets in the hopes that it will eventually find a bottom. 

Curiously, owner and CEO Edward Lampert still struck an upbeat note in a letter to shareholders, proclaiming that Sears this year will demonstrate its efforts to evolve beyond a brick-and-mortar retailer to an integrated model that puts it at the forefront of e-tailing.

“That may sound odd given our financial results,” he wrote. “But not only do I believe that we are headed in the right direction in important ways, I believe the entire retail industry is headed to where we already are.”Continue reading...

retail watch

Sears Spinning Off Lands' End to Aid Survival

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 9, 2013 02:06 PM

Hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert has made enough smart choices to become a billionaire, but one decision has surely been haunting him for some time now. When he decided to combine Kmart and Sears back in 2005 for $11 billion, there was no way he’d know that it would mean a continued downward spiral for his new company. 

After all, Sears and Kmart were once retail titans. Now they are slowly being crushed by the likes of Walmart, Target, and online retailers of all stripes.

Sears, of course, has been doing all it can to survive. The company has tested localized personal shopping, taken its in-house brands – Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard – out of house, sold its Canadian real-estate holdings in October for $383 million, and even set up a whole section on its website using “undead” models to appeal to younger consumers. But nothing has turned it around.

Now Sears Holdings will follow through on an idea it floated back in October: spinning off clothing retailer Land’s End. According to the Chicago Tribune, the spinoff “will not raise cash for Sears but will allow Lampert to more efficiently chart a course for the two businesses, which compete for management time and capital within the Sears group.” Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Priceline, Jeep, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 9, 2012 09:06 AM

In the News

Priceline to buy Kayak.

Chrysler recalls Jeeps over faulty airbags.

Walmart faces probe in India.

Axe sponsors comedy tour.

Boeing is on track to outsell Airbus for first time in six years.

Diageo finally reaches deal for stake in United Spirits.

GM stake becomes a challenge for re-elected President Obama as Chevrolet finds a home in Russia.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Pizza Hut, Toyota, Spotify and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2012 09:02 AM

In the News

7-Eleven, JetBlue and Bliss go presidential with "poll" promotions as Pizza Hut comes up with a controversial dare ahead of next week's debate.

Toyota recalls 7.4 million vehicles globally for power-window glitch and 2.5 million Lexus vehicles, as it plugs Prius on the Home Shopping Network.

Samsung signs TV deal with Spotify.

BAE and EADS terminate merger talks.

Bain Capital buys maker of Craftsman Tools.

Ballmer touts new era at Microsoft as bonus trimmed.

Cadbury tells bishop it's not precious about purple.

Chevron is rejected by Supreme Court in Ecuadorian case.Continue reading...

survey says

Harris Survey Highlights 15 Top Brands With Staying Power

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 29, 2012 12:07 PM

For the past eight years, fifteen brands have ranked at the top of their category in the Harris Poll EquiTrend Study, a survey of over 1,500 brands across more than 127 product categories.

"These 15 top brands have consistently found a way to remain relevant and valuable to the consumer," said Aron Galonsky, SVP for Harris Interactive's Brand and Communication Consulting group. "It's not surprising why these perennial leaders continue to stay on top. They continually deliver a consistent and balanced brand experience, year after year, that really resonates with the consumer."

Check them out below, along with more from Harris about why they made the 2012 list.Continue reading...

retail watch

Sears Buffs Up Rep(s) as America's #1 Fitness Retailer

Posted by Dale Buss on January 19, 2012 01:01 PM

The chips are down for Sears, as they have been so often over the last few decades. Its latest round of closings of its Sears and Kmart stores, announced shortly after Christmas, may be the first ring of a death knell that could attend what used to be America's biggest retailer and the namesake of the building that originally was known as Sears Tower, in Chicago.

But Sears continues to go down fighting. In the past, it continually has attempted to offset its failing relevance as a retailer of soft goods and concentrate on areas and brands where Americans continue to rely on Sears, including Kenmore appliances and Craftsman tools.

The latest tactic: taking advantage of Sears' underappreciated but significant role as an outlet for fitness equipment. Few know that the retailer is America's no. 1 seller of fitness equipment, so it's stepping up its attention to the sector through branded content, community and conversation.Continue reading...

political brands

Politics and Brand Preference: Can Cheerios Bring Together Dems & GOPers?

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 7, 2011 02:31 PM

In America, everything remains political, and that includes brand preference. According to YouGov BrandIndex, Republicans and Democrats (surprise!) do not completely see eye to eye on brand trustworthiness.

But there is hope that our nation's partisan divide will be healed… with Cheerios.Continue reading...

viral marketing

Zombie Sears: Retailer Pits Craftsman vs Undead for Halloween

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 26, 2011 05:05 PM

The week before Halloween is always zombie week. This time last year, retailer Sears hit it big with a successful zombification campaign that turned the Sears website into a zombie-infiltrated .com of the walking undead, including the "Blue Zombie Crew, your trusty undead experts."

Emboldened, the retailer is back this year with an even bigger zombie Halloween campaign, this time enlisting its Craftsman tools brand. And, of course, braaaiiiiinnnnnssssss!Continue reading...

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