I went to our local shopping mall today and Sears is closing down.
When we first came to the USA almost 20 years ago the first credit card we got was a Sears card. We bought our main furniture from Sears as well as some washer/dryer. It was the place to go to look around and see what was available and they generally had the best selection and prices. So what has happened? Is this a store problem, a management problem or something more sinister that is happening. I think you only have to look at the demise of other big retailers to see that it is not a Sears specific problem. At the same time we see the rise of internet shopping, and in our part of the world, the rise of the ’boutique’ stores. But it still has me shaking my head and thinking “Sears is closing down”.
I think big retailers really suffer when it comes down to the size of their overheads – retail rent, utilities, salaries, pensions, stockpile etc… As margins continue to erode, they just cannot compete with retailers that have or are crafting a strong online presence. They also cannot compete with boutique shops that offer products with higher margins and a shopping experience.
I cannot predict the future, but I see fewer Sears, Macy’s, Nordstrom, JC Penny over the next decade. And I will miss the kind of experience offered when Sears closes down.