Nicholas Eckhart

Florida Church Raising Money To Revive Dead Mall

Due to changes in demographics and shopping habits, the American landscape is littered with dead malls. The Ponce de Leon Mall in St. Augustine, Florida, has closed the mall common areas and only its anchors with their own entrances have stayed open. One of those spaces is rented to a non-denominational church. Now the mall’s owner has offered the church the opportunity to buy the entire mall, and they’re raising money to make the down payment. [More]

Retail Rivals Pulling Out Their Own Deals In Effort To Compete With Prime Day

Retail Rivals Pulling Out Their Own Deals In Effort To Compete With Prime Day

Just because Amazon is calling today Prime Day doesn’t mean other retailers can’t offer their own discounts and deals, too. As such, a whole bunch of retailers are pulling out specials designed to lure shoppers today, while carefully avoiding any mention of “Prime Day” [More]

Richie Diesterheft

All That’s Left At The Oldest Remaining Sears Are Fixtures And Khakis

The Sears store on Lawrence Avenue in Chicago is winding down operations. That’s a normal part of the retail cycle: when a store is no longer making money, you shut it down. What’s different about this store closure is that the Lawrence location was one of the oldest still-operating Sears department stores, open in that location for 91 years. It survived the Great Depression, but not the era of e-commerce and of Eddie Lampert. [More]

Ben Schumin)

Department Stores Don’t Draw Customers, Malls Don’t Want ‘Em Anymore

What actually draws you to the mall, when you go there? A generation ago, you might have headed to your nearest mall to buy a refrigerator from Sears or a dress from JC Penney. Today, though, customers are less interested in hulking department stores, and more likely to visit their local mall to have dinner at a Cheesecake Factory or shop at an Apple Store, and skip the department store. Mall owners are noticing. [More]

Mike Mozart

Target Closes Several In-Store Portrait Studios

Years ago, when you wanted to have a family portrait taken you’d hop in the car with the family and head to your local department store — Sears, JCPenney, and others. While some of these studios have closed their doors over the years, Target stepped in to fill the void. Until now: the big box retailer announced this week that it would close a handful of its in-store portrait studios in favor of other initiatives.  [More]

Sears Expands Another House Brand, Sells Kenmore TVs

Sears Expands Another House Brand, Sells Kenmore TVs

A few weeks ago, Sears announced with its quarterly earnings that it was looking into doing some unspecified money-making thing with its signature house brands: Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard. Most observers assumed that this meant selling the brands, since Sears Holdings needs some cash flow. Instead, the company is expanding the brands to include new and related like DieHard car tires and now Kenmore-brand televisions. [More]

Nicholas Eckhart

Sears Holdings Cares More About Wall Street Than About Customers, And That’s Why It’s Doomed

Eddie Lampert, the manifesto-writing hedge fund manager who runs Sears Holdings, the company that owns Sears and Kmart, doesn’t understand retail. That’s isn’t always a bad thing in a manager: sometimes leaders with fresh perspective bring in fresh ideas. For Sears and Kmart, it’s meant over a decade of no investment in the company and the slowest liquidation and dismantling in retail history. [More]

Will

Sears Expanding DieHard Brand With Foray Into The Car Tire Business

After hinting that it would be exploring unnamed options for getting more out of some of its signature house brands, Sears has announced that it will be expanding DieHard’s reach in the automotive market by selling passenger-car tires under the brand. [More]

Mark Clifton

The 5 Meanest Quotes From Report On Sad State Of Sears

Last week, Sears all but admitted that it was looking to cast off the little that remains of its identity with the possible sell-off of its signature house brands Kenmore, DieHard, and Craftsman. What the heck happened to this once-great pillar of American retail? A number of industry insiders have their theories, and they aren’t pulling punches. [More]

PETA

Lands’ End, Eddie Bauer Deny PETA Accusations Of Using Down Ripped From Live Geese

If you yank the soft down feathers from the body of a goose that’s still alive, here’s the thing: the goose can grow that plumage back, and you can pluck it again. That’s apparently the inhumane practice on some poultry farms in China. A continuing investigation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals discovered live-plucking on farms linked to suppliers of well-known U.S. retailers Lands’ End, Eddie Bauer, L.L. Bean, Sears, and Amazon. [More]

Oversized Box From Sears Has Enough Room To Stash Preteen Daughter

Oversized Box From Sears Has Enough Room To Stash Preteen Daughter

Amazon was once notorious for shipping items in comically oversized boxes, an e-commerce phenomenon that we blame on mysterious employees called the Stupid Shipping Gang. We don’t hear about over-packaging from Amazon that much anymore, perhaps because the Stupid Shipping Gang has all moved on to jobs packaging e-commerce orders at Sears. [More]

JeepersMedia

Sears Looking To Make More Money Off Its Kenmore, Craftsman Brands, Won’t Say How

Sears Holding has a great idea: instead of relying on sales of washers, dryers, and tools, it’s going to work on a way to make more money from its trusty brands like Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard. As for exactly how it’s going to do that, Sears isn’t saying. [More]

frankieleon

Best Buy Defies Everyone’s Expectations, Is Mysteriously Not Dead

Over the last few years, Best Buy has taken the internet’s snide jokes about using its stores as an Amazon showroom, listened to them, and then stubbornly refused to go out of business. Best Buy calls its results this quarter “better than expected,” which is true, but their continuing existence is also “better than expected.” It’s the last national big-box electronics retailer standing, with $39.5 billion in revenue during the fiscal year that ended in January 2016 and growing online sales. [More]

SchuminWeb

What Are Shoppers Buying Since They Aren’t Buying Clothes?

It’s bleak out there for a clothing retailer, with sales slumping at many chains, leading some — American Apparel, Aeropostale, Pacsun, among others — to declare bankruptcy. So if we aren’t shopping for items to clad our bodies, what are we shopping for? [More]

No, The Deals At Store Closing Sales Are Often Not That Great

No, The Deals At Store Closing Sales Are Often Not That Great

When the bright “store closing” signs go up outside of a store that’s being liquidated, that’s meant to attract shoppers in search of deals. The problem, though, is that liquidation sales mean first marking items up to their original retail price, then gradually lowering them, meaning that prices are higher than they were when the “liquidation” started. [More]

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Uncover Ancient Memory Stick At Sears

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Uncover Ancient Memory Stick At Sears

A “memory stick” sounds like some kind of fascinating tribal artifact, perhaps a staff that elders hold while telling ancient legends. In electronics, of course, it was a revolutionary flash storage device from the late ’90s that made taking digital photos cheaper and easier, eliminating the need to attach a floppy drive to your digital camera. Unless, of course, you’re Sears. [More]

Why Is JCPenney Trying To Be More Like Sears, When So Many Sears Stores Are Closing?

Mike Mozart

In a previous era, JCPenney and Sears competed against each other for sales in just about everything from apparel to appliances to towels and sheets. Gradually, the rivals’ paths diverged somewhat: JCPenney focused on clothing, while Sears lowered its price point to push its core business of tools and appliances. So why, with Sears in the process of closing so many of its stores, is JCPenney once again going head-to-head with its old nemesis by getting back into the appliance game? [More]

Are These The Final, Doomed Days Of The American Mall?

Nicholas Eckhart

Once upon a time, not terribly long ago, enclosed shopping malls were mammoth physical manifestations of the great American retail experience — just about everything you could want to buy all in the same sprawling building, anchored at various points by those glorious national department store chains. Then came the dramatic shift to big box stores, offering everything from TVs to hardware to clothing to groceries from one store, followed by the advent of online shopping, where all this shopping can be done in your undies and everything will be delivered to your door. One retail analyst says that recent underwhelming sales figures from Macy’s and other mall mainstays could indicate that many of these relics of the not so distant past are doomed. [More]