Tuesday, March 28, 2017

My Retail Obsession

Here is another post on failing retailers.  I can't help it, I find it fascinating.  Last weekend the Financial Times published a long article on the decline of Sears and the shopping mall.  Sears' failures are the result of losing the competitive battle with WalMart and an owner who may have been a hot shot Goldman Sachs financial wunderkid but knew nothing about retail when he bought Sears and has not seemed to learn on the job. 

I find this graphic from the article illustrative of the problems facing retailers:

The retailers having so much trouble - JC Penney, Macy's, and Sears - have wide exposure in Class B and Class C malls, which are older malls in poorer areas and/or more rural locations.  These are the malls in WalMart territory.  Retailers in Class A malls like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's are not facing the problems of retailers in the lower grade malls, and you can't tell me that Nordstrom's and Bloomingdale's shoppers are not as active online as those shoppers at Sears, Penney's and Macy's.  How the Class B and Class C malls compete with WalMart and other single-stop discounters, or the sociological and demographic shifts impacting retail and shopping malls, are more important stories than Sears' inept operation since Eddie Lampert acquired it in 2004. 

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