Inside This Issue - News
Sears promises transformation
May 14th, 2012
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Sears Holdings Corp. will be overhauled by an array of initiatives, executives said at the company’s annual meeting.
Investments in the retailer’s frequent shopper program, improved layouts and better signage will be among the elements enhancing stores, said chairman Edward Lampert.
The new strategy follows perennial criticism of Sears Holdings for not upgrading stores, which has resulted in decreased sales every year since Lampert combined Sears with Kmart in 2005.
"We are not here to just survive," said Lampert, the company’s largest shareholder. "We are here to transform."
Asked if the Lands’ End brand was on the selling block, Lampert said he was not actively pursuing buyers, but there was always a possibility that the business “could be separated.”
Lampert and chief executive officer Lou D’Ambrosio estimated that membership in the retailer’s “Shop Your Way” customer loyalty program had more than doubled over the past year to tens of millions of consumers. Reward points can be used across Sears brands.
Noting that the program represented a significant investment, Lampert said, "We are going to spend what we can afford to spend."
Added D’Ambrosio: "We live in a world that’s rapidly changing. You change or you die."
Chief merchandising officer Ron Boire said the chain was concentrating on improving inventory management, having fashionable products and being more customer-friendly.