Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 9, 2013 02:06 PM
Hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert has made enough smart choices to become a billionaire, but one decision has surely been haunting him for some time now. When he decided to combine Kmart and Sears back in 2005 for $11 billion, there was no way he’d know that it would mean a continued downward spiral for his new company.
After all, Sears and Kmart were once retail titans. Now they are slowly being crushed by the likes of Walmart, Target, and online retailers of all stripes.
Sears, of course, has been doing all it can to survive. The company has tested localized personal shopping, taken its in-house brands – Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard – out of house, sold its Canadian real-estate holdings in October for $383 million, and even set up a whole section on its website using “undead” models to appeal to younger consumers. But nothing has turned it around.
Now Sears Holdings will follow through on an idea it floated back in October: spinning off clothing retailer Land’s End. According to the Chicago Tribune, the spinoff “will not raise cash for Sears but will allow Lampert to more efficiently chart a course for the two businesses, which compete for management time and capital within the Sears group.” Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 26, 2013 10:40 AM
Sears results keep eroding, with no end in sight. Now the giant retailer's maladroitness has begun affecting the operation that arguably has kept the brand afloat: appliance sales. Not even a successful shopper-loyalty program has been able to turn things around for the company that used to be America's largest store.
Lately it's been easy to lose sight of Sears' woes. For one thing, at least one other traditional retail giant—JCPenney—has had things way worse over the last year or so. Also, Sears has been able to spark some gains at its other major brand, Kmart, with exposure from its popular and cheeky "Ship My Pants" and "Big Gas Savings" ads.
But Sears is suffering. Last week the retailer reported a $194 million loss during the second quarter as same-store sales fell by 1.5 percent. Sears hasn't turned a profit since 2010, and sales, which stood at $53 billion a decade ago, have dwindled steaily to $40 billion in 2012 as customer traffic ebbed and Sears sold assets to raise cash.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 19, 2012 01:01 PM
The chips are down for Sears, as they have been so often over the last few decades. Its latest round of closings of its Sears and Kmart stores, announced shortly after Christmas, may be the first ring of a death knell that could attend what used to be America's biggest retailer and the namesake of the building that originally was known as Sears Tower, in Chicago.
But Sears continues to go down fighting. In the past, it continually has attempted to offset its failing relevance as a retailer of soft goods and concentrate on areas and brands where Americans continue to rely on Sears, including Kenmore appliances and Craftsman tools.
The latest tactic: taking advantage of Sears' underappreciated but significant role as an outlet for fitness equipment. Few know that the retailer is America's no. 1 seller of fitness equipment, so it's stepping up its attention to the sector through branded content, community and conversation.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 15, 2011 10:01 AM
Scripps Networks owns some of the most powerful brands on cable television with HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel and DIY. All of the cooking shows on these networks have thus far avoided the temptation of dabbling in product placement. After all, in the first half of the year, Food Network pulled in $283.2 million in advertising while HGTV earned $300.2 million in the same time period, according to Kantar Media.
However, the company’s Cooking Channel, which launched last year, is still trying to figure out how to make dough on the scale of its sister networks. Kantar reports that the channel brought in $12.3 million in the first half of the year. Enter product placement.
Ad Age reports that the network's business side sees a plum opportunity with a series titled From the Kitchens Of, which doesn’t have a set air time and is broadcast sporadically, not only visits the kitchens of corporations including Pillsbury but also features each company’s products within its show and recipes. For that right, the advertiser foots half the costs of producing the episode, Ad Age reports.
"We wanted to be able to offer advertisers something different than" Food Network, stated Jeff Stettin, VP of ad sales for Cooking Channel. "We feel that with a network that was just starting out, we could take a little bit more risk."
Other brands that have been involved the first season’s 10 episodes include Clorox, Sara Lee, Kellogg, and Sears’ Kenmore, Ad Age notes, with all series one sponsors already signing on for a 13-episode second season run.
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 26, 2011 10:01 AM
It used to be that Sears’ in-house brands – Craftsman, Kenmore, and DieHard – could only be found at Sears-owned stores and acted as magnets to consumers, bringing them in so they’d check out other products.
But those days are over. Following in the footsteps of a deal to sell Craftsman at Costco and agreement to DieHard products at Meijer, Sears is reportedly prepping to sell its Kenmore goods elsewhere as well, marking the first time that Kenmore goods would be sold elsewhere in the brand's 98-year history.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 14, 2011 06:20 PM
Chipotle soft-launches ShopHouse Kitchen, a Southeast Asian fast casual restaurant concept, in Washington, D.C. (prompting Seattle's Shophouse eatery to rebrand to Little Uncle).
Yahoo and AOL may be planning an ad sales partnership.
Kenmore may be next brand 'farmed out' by Sears.
Bing introduces "adaptive search" to personalize results.
Eterniti teases luxury 'supercar' at Frankfurt Auto Show.
Facebook expands social ads push, delays IPO to late 2012.
Google buys more than 1,000 patents from IBM.
Louis Vuitton names next CEO, opens first airport store.
Marni and Estee Lauder partner on perfume collection.
Solyndra bankruptcy and loan become a bigger embarrassment for the Obama administration.
Toyota steps up research to make driving safer.
& Advertisers and retailers move up Halloween promotions earlier this year (on both sides of the pond).
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2011 01:04 PM
The Standard Operating Procedure with an in-house brand is that it’s sold, well, in-house, but Sears Holdings Corp. is about to break a new barrier for the company. According to the Chicago Tribune, Sears “has agreed to sell its Craftsman tool line through Costco clubs nationwide.”
And the two retailers aren’t wasting any time. The “hand tools, power tools and tool storage units will start appearing on Costco shelves as early as Saturday” over Labor Day weekend. Since Costco members don’t tend to shop at Sears or Kmart, the company has its hopes pinned on gaining new customers for the Craftsman brand via Costco's wholesale store.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 4, 2011 09:00 AM
Super Bowl XLV combatants, brand marketers including Kraft and Verizon, automakers and other game advertisers and fans gird for the game in north Texas this weekend between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Apple and Campbell Soup say that iAds are twice as effective as TV.
AT&T reaches out to business users.
BJ’s Wholesale places itself on auction block
BMW may lease, not sell, its Megacity EV.
Dunkin’ Donuts foresees 50% hike in expansion deals this year.Continue reading...