The Sears effect: What it means for retailers



The iconic American retailer Sears was founded all the way back in 1893. It was the 23rd largest retailer in the US in 2017. Now, only a year later, it is filing for bankruptcy and closing all of its stores.

So what happened?

Some articles blame the ‘Amazon effect’ – or the rise of online shopping combined with the so-called retail apocalypse. A Business Insider article chronicled the demise of the stores, with locations that are in shambles, with leaking ceilings and broken escalators, with hung bedsheets to shield shoppers from sections that stood empty. In short, it was a long way from experiential retail.

But ultimately, in addition to poor management, Sears failed to evolve with the changing retail landscape, and to remain relevant to today’s shopper. Staying innovative, and keeping the rising expectations of consumers in mind are important factors for retailers to remember. For those who do – there’s growth on the horizon. 

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