What happens when retailer Sears is supposedly valuable for its tangible property assets and the business is managed by a dealmaker? 18 Depressing Photos That Show Why Nobody Wants To Shop At Sears

18 Depressing Photos That Show Why Nobody Wants To Shop At Sears

ASHLEY LUTZ OCT. 21, 2013, 8:26 AM 71,887 57

Sears, once America’s golden retailer, is a company in crisis.  The company has shuttered hundreds of stores in recent years. The embattled company has been selling some its most profitable stores to raise money. Brian Sozzi, chief equities strategist at Belus Capital Advisors, took poignant photos inside of New Jersey  and New York Sears locations. “To understand why Sears is in a ‘sell stores mode’ one must look no further than the stores themselves, where the truth is to be found,” Sozzi writes. His photos show the sad reality of what Sears is today.

Sears’ mannequins are outdated in comparison with competitors like Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, and JCPenney, Sozzi says. “If you are living darn near paycheck to paycheck, does this presentation excite you about making a purchase with a couple saved up electronic dollars?”


Sozzi points out that this display is confusing. “Huh? A random football themed carpet with no promotion around it?” he says.

football-carpet1-e1382137446920“What’s the deal in the back of this electronics department?” Sozzi asks. “Does Best Buy look like this? Or, how about the electronics sections at Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, and BJ’s Wholesale? Nope.”


The shoe department isn’t adequately stocked, with empty shelves.


“The team can’t find any way to repurpose abandoned portrait studios into something that drives traffic and sales?” Sozzi asks. “The consistently dark zones give a ‘going out of business’ feel to nearby departments that actually log some sales, which include appliances and baby.”


Lights are out in the store. “This is not great for flattering a potential customer trying on merchandise,” Sozzi writes.


“This is where the store underinvestment appears loud and ugly,” Sozzi says.


“Attack of the female basics? Look at the lack of organization,” Sozzi says.


Associates weren’t on hand to help make purchases in this disorganized department, Sozzi says.


These displays are almost totally empty.


“Toys stacked on a shelf next to an escalator by the shoe department,” Sozzi writes.


Again, Sears is disorganized. “Accessories are some of the only discretionary items selling in the mall with consistency these days,” Sozzi writes. “Best of luck navigating this flea market experience.”


The men’s department is overwhelming. “Inventory excess…an entire department of it!” Sozzi says. “Who is in charge of planning and allocation?”


The beauty department also lacks innovation in comparison with competitors. “JCPenney has Sephora. Macy’s newly remodeled stores have an array of associates at the ready to assist in cosmetics, ditto Lord & Taylor,” Sozzi says. “Ulta stores are popping up everywhere. Sears, well, yeah.”

“Retail is detail? Not here,” Sozzi writes.


The random clothing racks are confusing to customers and show a lack of organization.


This mat appears to be shabby and stained.


Sozzi left the store with an empty cart.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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