Who would have thought, after 132 years as a staple on the retail landscape that we would ever see the death of Sears?
What this is, in fact, is the study of how a retail legend stopped doing what made it successful in the first place only to be crushed by a newer company (using its same business strategy for the modern digital age).
So my buddy (and social marketing strategist) Ted Rubin and I took a trip to investigate the murder mystery of Sears in the Mall of America on a weekday, and here’s what we found:
How Amazon Crushed Sears With Its Own Business Model
How did Sears go from the Everything Store to the Nothing Brand?
Anybody who knows anything knows this: Sears transformed how America shopped.
Sears was the original everything store. Literally.
At the time, people across America lived in smaller towns with only a few stores to choose from. Sears changed all of that with its catalog.
The Sears Catalog transformed how people shop by introducing their catalog that made it possible to shop for many more things than were locally available.
This was a century before the Internet and the proliferation of malls.
Sears, The Original Amazon
Then, all of a sudden with the advent of the Internet and computers, mail wasn’t the only thing arriving in everyone’s home.
There was this new thing: the Internet.
And along came a company that applied the exact same model Sears applied: bring the world of shopping to everyone’s home.
Amazon made it possible for shoppers to get anything, anytime, and Sears never caught onto this major technological shift in shopper convenience.
They also never elevated their stores to a level of customer experience that would make them indispensable.
The death of Sears displays the potential inherent in any brand.
With the proper initiative, its demise was inconceivable.
Without that initiative, it was just a matter of time.