Sears, the world’s largest retailer during most of the second half of the 20th century, is bleeding cash. Sears was the first retailer to start the shop at home mindset, but yesteryear accomplishments have no credence in a capitalistic system. Sears could be on the road to bankruptcy court, according to a recent USA Today article. Toys R Us, the mecca for all things kids dream about, is already in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Sears is inches away from court proceedings, but Sears CEO, Eddie Lambert, is using his wealth to keep the aging retailer alive.
The Sears problem is not new. Shoppers want to buy from other retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon. Walking through a Sears store gives one the impression that the innovative retail gods moved on to other stores years ago. And Toys R Us have similar operational issues. Toys R Us stores are big, bulky, and expensive. But the executives do come alive ever now and then, and they come up with an off-price promotion to try to stay competitive.
The Sears brand is no longer relevant in the 21st-century retail market. Sears isn’t the Sears where granddad bought his tools. And it’s not the appliance store that warrants wife attention anymore. Retail analysts think Sears does not do a good enough job when it comes to educating customers. Customers believe Sears products and services are not in the same quality and performance league with the competition. And when it comes to pricing, Sears drops the ball there too. Customers believe other retailers offer the same products are a lower price. Customer perception is the driving force in the retail industry, and Sears gets an “F” in the positive perception department.
Toys R Us positive perception motivating skills are in the same league as Sears. Toys R Us relies on their name to drive the business, but there are so many retailers that carry the same fifty toys every kid wants to have, and they sell them at a lower price. Plus, shopping to find them is a lot easier online than walking through a maze of irrelevant toys. The name of the game in the toy business is to have the hottest toys and other seasonal items in stock all the time at a great price. But Toys R Us executives still think toys are their only “thing” in a retail world where toys are “Amazon’s thing,” and Walmart as well as Target’s thing.”
It may too late to save Sears and Toys R Us. In a capitalistic system, the new survive and the old become irrelevant unless they are willing to change, according to retail analysts.