Skip to comments.Sears' Decline Actually Demonstrates Amazon's Vulnerability
Posted on 01/09/2018 7:45:06 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Those who fear Amazon is on the verge of becoming a monopoly that eats all competitors and locks up the retail market should take note of an announcement last week by Sears Holdings: The company will be closing another 100 stores this year.
Some will see Sears downward trajectory as proof that Amazon is on the verge of assuming near-monopolistic dominance of the retail market. In fact, it proves the opposite: No one can blithely assume that kind of power, at least not for long. Just look at Sears history: Back in the 1960s, many feared the Sears chain would mow down all that stood before it, with sales revenue that equaled 1 percent of U.S. GDP more than Amazons sales do today.
Sears fate after closing another 400 stores last year illustrates the fact that yesterdays economic tiger could become tomorrows economic pussycat. Thats true in all industries, including (perhaps especially) retail.
Many argue that Amazon is eliminating jobs and diminishing once-thriving shopping districts by drawing customers and revenue away from bricks and mortar institutions. But appeals to community loyalty will not undermine consumers seeking the most efficient shopping experience they can get. Cursing the rise of ecommerce is really nothing more than cursing the proliferation of consumer choice and convenience.
(Excerpt) Read more at realclearmarkets.com ...
Yeah, maybe in 100 years or so...
It’s true that some other company might come along and blow past Amazon. At the same time Amazon doesn’t seem to be resting on their laurels. They’re both aggressive and innovative.
Sell if you own it. In fact if you didn’t sell this years ago you’re late to the game.
Moreover, they are buying up retail like Whole Foods, and looking at Target, but they didn’t buy Sears. That should tell us something.
LIST OF SEARS AND KMART CLOSING AS OF 1/4/2018:
My buddy sold his Target stock when it tanked after the whole bathroom fiasco.
Damned if it didn’t rocket right back up after he did that.
Sears sold off their valuable franchises. Diehard, Craftsman, etc.
I think toward the early 1990s...Sears was in decline and simply not making an attempt to recapture the market. I walked into the home-town Sears where I grew up as a kid around 2005, and noted that at 4PM on a Friday....there were fewer than twelve customers in the whole store. I think at that point, they could have stopped opening in the morning hours.
“The purpose of a market economy is not to preserve businesses or jobs it is to satisfy consumer needs and desires. The reason we work is to be able to consume. The company that comes up with the easiest, cheapest and most efficient way for us to do that will earn our loyalty and hold it only until someone else comes up with a better formula.”
Womyns and chilluns hit the hardest.
I noticed the same thing in various cities where we’ve lived.
The main stockholder in Sears/KMart must be banking on selling the real estate since his storys will largely be empty...
“LEAKED MEMO: DREAMers Are Critical To Dems Future Electoral Success
right. just like climate “scientists” claiming that “global warming” causes record-breaking cold ...
They sold off Allstate Insurance back in the 1990s. That was a major one.
Sears and Amazon are too very different marketing systems.
Call and then go to Sears in Muncie “America’s Hometown” IN and same thing: practically tumbleweeds rolling down aisles but few customers.
Sears auto dept. assures me, `No charge for installation of Die Hard Gold car battery’.
Go away, come back to pay—there’s a charge for installation.
Register jockey: “There’s always an installation charge.”
I ask for manager: he says `No one could have told you that’.
I replied, “Your people did over the phone and then here at the counter about an hour ago.
Him: `Sorry, can’t help.’
Me: `Sorry, I won’t be back.’
All Sears has to offer at this point is service—bad service, in my experience.
“The main stockholder in Sears/KMart must be banking on selling the real estate since his storys will largely be empty...”
Next to the mall in Exton, PA, there was a “Big K”. Dirty, poorly staffed, and usually just about empty. But sitting on a prime piece of property.
They tore it down a year ago, and a Whole Foods has been built in its place, set to open soon.
When it comes to economics, I would be the last person to pretend to be knowledgeable, but, just based on this excerpt, I think the writer is ignoring a major change that has occurred since the days of the dominance of Sears, i.e., the Internet, and the Internet makes it much easier to respond to business changes very quickly.
Also, a major factor is that Amazon has had a lot of Rat help in cornering the market. Hoping Trump can fix that.
A goodly part of the growth of Sears was the mail order they established in 1906, to sell to rural America. This catalog sales program was finally discontinued around 1993, but Sears was late to the game changing to e-commerce, and never regained their former prominence. For years Montgomery Wards and Sears were serious rivals, but with the waning importance of the catalog sales, both suffered a similar decline, as they established brick-and-mortar stores throughout smaller cities and even some relatively rural locations of less than 5,000 population. Montgomery Wards went belly up in 2000, and Sears, but for its alliance with the K-Mart chain, which was also failing, would have soon followed. But the two former giants could not help each other that much, even with consolidation of locations and supposedly fewer warehousing supply lines.
Wal-Mart, the big dog in Brick-and-mortar locations, has been experimenting with being the kind of e-commerce that made Amazon the retail giant it is, but they still have much more to grow in that direction, acting as an agent for the on-line sales by many much smaller retailers.
Thick on the best, to hell with the rest.
That’s exactly what “Fast Eddie” Lampert is doing — treating the whole Sears/Kmart empire as a real estate investment. The retail aspect is minor at this point.
I remember going into the Sears flagship store on State Street in downtown Chicago several years back. The few customers were mostly Hispanic, and the store staff, in their shabby, ill-fitting red vests, seemed to be entirely black and Hispanic. The black employees were shuffling around in slow motion, often stopping in the aisles to mutter to one another. The Hispanic employees were bustling and chattering a mile a minute amongst themselves and with the Hispanic customers. I watched an order being rung up and wondered if the clerk was giving the customer a discount of some sort. That store has long since closed.
I was in a mall over Christmas where every store was packed EXCEPT the Sears.
They had emailed me a coupon for $10 off a $40 purchase.
I spent close to an hour in the store and could not find forty bucks worth of stuff I wanted to buy.
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