Give Now

Analyst Says Sears Needs Rebranding To Stay Alive

Sears began as a hardware store with a strong mail-order catalog. It has since moved away from that model.

Sears Holdings announced it‘s closing 120 Sears and K-Mart stores across the nation. The company blames a 5.2% drop in sales during the eight weeks leading up to Christmas.

A Ball State retail analyst says Sears hasn‘t found a true market niche. Dr. Sue Mantel says it‘s one of the rules of retail. You must define who you are which she says sears hasn‘t done.

“A long time ago,” she says, “they were a hardware store. They sold Craftsman tools. They sold things for the farmer, things for the rural economy. Then they moved to the softer side of sears and tried to get their apparel going, but they really haven‘t found a niche.”

However, Mantel says Sears has pretty much always had an branding problem. She says it‘s not too late for the company to rebound, but she says Sears must redefine itself and find a viable way to serve consumers.

“If they get rid of stores,” she says, “if they figure out what niche they want to be at and then get rid of the stores that aren‘t fitting that niche, refocus on the stores that are fitting that niche and build that niche up, then they can thrive.”

There is no word yet on whether any Indiana locations will be closed.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From