Sears Admits: People Only Come To Our Stores To Park

sears_shoppingThis holiday season, Best Buy is embracing their reputation as America’s Amazon showroom in their marketing. It’s not clear yet how well this strategy is working, but another retailer has an ad campaign based on the same concept: embracing and turning around what consumers make fun of them for. This commercial for Sears that’s currently on the air takes a perceived weakness (Sears has vast, empty parking lots) and turns it into a selling point. Kind of.

Best Buy’s plan is to embrace the “showroom” concept, then capture sales from customers who originally planned to make their actual purchase online through price-matching and great customer service.

In the Sears spot, two young women on their way to a mall to see a movie park at Sears, because “there’s always parking at Sears!” Ha ha! Their stores are abandoned!

The moviegoers then discover that Sears still sells things, which may be a revelation for Americans in their twenties. They even sell clothing! Cute clothing! The women grab items off the racks, miss their movie, and then commit themselves to a never-ending torrent of Shop Your Way Rewards e-mails.

We couldn’t quite believe that this ad was real at first, and had to check with Sears to make sure it wasn’t an elaborate hoax. Even the Sears Twitter account is playing along and pretending that this is a compliment.

We like the ad, though. Like Best Buy’s embrace of “showrooming,” it shows that someone at Sears cares about what customers actually say. The challenge will be actually retaining those customers once they walk in the doors on their way to the movie theater.

(Thanks, Doug!)

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  1. MarthaGaill says:

    It’s not an entirely bad way to frame it. I think younger people feel like Sears is an old people store so the idea that these young, stylish gals discover it by accident might actually pull in some new customers.

  2. theoriginalcatastrophegirl says:

    it sounds desperate, but i worked in a mall, at a store near the sears anchor. that was nearly 20 years ago. there was still always parking at sears then, even when the company was doing somewhat better than they are now. perhaps it’s magic? or they always pick the anchor store location with the best section of parking lot?

    • MathManv2point0 says:

      Or they pick the part of the mall that isn’t near the food court, movies,…etc, and other “main entrances” so they pay less per square foot than other retailers who want to be closer to higher foottraffic. Just a theory – only seen it practiced in the malls I’ve visited with Sears.

      • Cara says:

        That’s not a bad theory. Our mall’s Sears is located on the opposite end of the mall as the food court and we pretty much never visited that area of the mall. Now they’re taking half of Sear’s bottom level and turning it into a Whole Foods. That should be interesting.

        Our mall also got some more higher-priced restaurants and a movie theater and both are at that end of Sears. Those happened before Sears sold some space to Whole Foods, so part of me wonders if their rent got increased.

  3. trustnot says:

    I’ve always wondered if the view of Sears is regional, as per shopping or service. I have never had a bad service experience and have had associates go the extra mile so to speak when I needed help. Their service people who actually aren’t Sears but owned by them, have fixed three problems this week at my home and offered very useful advice to boot. They could have replaced my dishwasher for the multiple trips! The dishwasher wasn’t disabled but covered under their service agreement. I now have an almost new dishwasher which purrs along nicely. I like our Sears for shopping too, it’s clean, bright, clean.