Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Warning From Sears

Many department stores have been in the news lately, struggling to keep their doors open. Sears, in particular, has been in the news after announcing in February that they would be closing another 50 stores over the course of the year, after having closed 360 stores and 160 K-Mart stores (owned by Sears) in the last five years.


What happened? Sears, like many other department stores that are struggling, did not change with the times. Over the past few years, Sears has stated that it would become more digitally oriented, it would begin taking up less physical space and it would become more focused on membership. None of these things came to fruition. In fact, the situation is so bad at Sears that female shoppers prefer the clothing selection at Goodwill, rather than the women's clothing department in Sears. 

In the midst of the department store doom and gloom, smaller stores can learn from their mistakes! Consumers are no longer willing to shop the way that they did 20 years ago, and they expect a completely different shopping experience. In the three ways that Sears neglected to move forward, smaller stores should take initiative and use them to create more profitability and better customer satisfaction. Also, just like with ships – smaller ones are able to change course faster!

1.      First, a digital presence is necessary. This means a mobile-friendly website and a firm social media presence.
2.      Second, take up less brick and mortar space and move to a more online medium. Consumers want to browse in-store, but also be able to shop from the comfort of their home--allow them to do this.
3.      Third, create a connection with customers. While Sears was going to do this through a membership program, it can also be done through more intimate contact on social media and a more personalized touch with every interaction the company has with a customer. 

Observing the moves and mistakes of large retailers can help small retailers of all kinds to not just stay afloat, but grow and succeed. Branding is always an important part of growth for any company, so be sure to contact us for advice and options on your branded retail packaging.

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