I have this train wreck fascination with Sears as of late (as I’m sure you’ve noticed). They are so desperate that they’re trying anything and everything to survive.
With increasing frequency, they’re rolling out new lines, new ideas targeted to audiences other than their core audience and new store concepts (and none of it in a good way). See previous posts about Sears’attempts at coolness with the U.S. Army, MTV, LL cool J and more.
The latest attempt to bail water from the sinking ship was recently announced in a nugget in Chain Store Age:
“Sears Holdings Corp. has launched a new Halloween concept called Totally Ghoul in 10 Chicago-area locations, according to the Northwest Herald.
The test concept could evolve to include other holidays with different names. Totally Ghoul will remain open through at least Oct. 31, and possibly into November to catch sale shoppers, the report said.”
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
It doesn’t make sense to build a new ship when the one you’re on is sinking.
You have to pump out the water to right the ship or you’re going to sink. Sears’ desire to get into the Halloween game is just a distraction from the core business. They need to figure out who Sears is and be that.
Check out what some people at Retailwire.com are saying about the Halloween concept.
I’ve been involved with a couple concepts that needed fixing. One was a retailer that decided to jump into the online game to bolster revenues and profits.
The result: a lot of time and energy expended on a short-term fix. The lack of sufficient budgets and abbreviated timelines meant the website was a shoestring operation that would need to be dismantled and rebuilt in a year if the company was ever going to get into the online game.
So what happened? A new CEO came in and together we said, let’s focus on the core business. So, after a year and a lot of money and sweat, we dismantled the eCommerce initiative to fix the ailing chain of 65 stores.
You have to look at your core business and get that operating at peak performance, then you can jump into other games to grow your business.
Jumping into new arenas of business doesn’t make sense unless your core business is solid. Your body is no different: if you strengthen your core, everything else falls into place and you operate more efficiently because your core is supporting your entire body.
How are you fixing your core?