Sears and Kmart stores are like two drunks staggering down the street, holding each other up. The joint company will close 77 stores before Christmas.
You may know someone who shops at either store. I don’t, but you may. For those people, this will be bad news. They will have to shop at Amazon, which was busy last quarter losing almost half a billion dollars.
Sears’ credit rating is just above default.
Times change. Tastes change. Offering floor space to sell in-house brands no longer is a viable strategy.
What is the unique selling proposition of Sears? This, I guess: “We’re better than Penneys.” But are they? My wife just bought me some socks at Penneys this week. I bought a pair of walking shoes at Penneys a few months ago. These constitute my total purchases at Penneys over the last six years. Maybe seven.
I bought a freezer at Sears two years ago. That was the only thing I have bought at Sears in a decade.
If I had ever bought anything at Kmart, I would not admit it here. But I know the firm’s slogan. “Attention, Kmart shoppers!” Wherever you are.
If both firms’ 1900 outlets shut down entirely in November, would anyone notice, other than its employees?
The free market does this. It lets customers shop elsewhere.
Have you ever seen anyone between the ages of 20 and 55 in a Sears store? If you are between the ages of 20 and 55, probably not.