was greeted with some interesting news. Not good news… not unexpected
news… and yet, certainly interesting news.
stores… you know the ones, names and brands that were so significant
they carried the term “anchor” in descriptions concerning their
presence and contributions to malls around the world… are fighting
to avoid following the dinosaurs into extinction.
essay is not about exploring the how and why and more of the potential
journey to the tar pits of retail history. Instead, I want to
point toward recent days, filled with news of Macy’s prepping
closures of more than six dozen stores, while Sears/Kmart add
about one hundred and fifty locked doors. The Macy’s announcements
include estimates of roughly 10,000 jobs being cut.
I was younger… or at least in days gone by… there were stores
like Jordan Marsh, Ames, G. Fox, The Outlet and more. We would
see Eckerd, Woolworth’s, Circuit City and such.
idea to take from these names is that businesses closing… national,
easily recognized, multiple locations, huge businesses closing…
is nothing new. It happens all the time. It happened generations
ago. It is happening now. And, in some tomorrow, to several brands
for reasons unexpected today, it will happen again.
yet, the idea that the internet has changed shopping and the way
we do business is both: (1) A valid observation and quite true,
and, (2) a weak excuse.
to the reality is that change arrived. Perhaps people no longer
wanted the product… perhaps people no longer wanted to shop in
the physical or world-wide-web store… whatever fill-in-the-blank
hurdle came about. Change arrived. And the going out of business
was a result, singularly or jointly, of not providing a product
people wanted to buy, not presenting a shop people wished to visit,
and not clearing the unexpected hurdles.
mention all of this because of a very weird twist I
spotted in the story of Sears. Allow me to
summarize it with this question:
if Sears is no longer the company of Craftsman?
can debate the details in a million different ways, but I just
want you to think about that question as stated. Just as a simple
observation. Because the top of the corporate group, Sears Holdings,
has sold the Craftsman name/brand/empire/toolbox to Stanley. (Ok,
officially… in a really funny scenario that only heightens the
beauty of this essay… Craftsman now belongs not to Stanley, but
to Stanley Black & Decker. We are not going further down that
me, and my untrained eye that has not been invited into the corporate
boardroom, this is roughly the equivalent of trying to assist
with fundraising to pay your car registration by selling your
perhaps that’s a stretch. Other articles I’ve seen discuss how
Sears will still have Craftsman products on their store shelves,
and those same articles cover additional transfer details. So
maybe… just maybe… there’s a bit of a business dealings and decisions
here I simply do not understand. After all, figuratively the car
still appears to be, technically, in the driveway.
for how long? (And back to keeping the question simple and not
wandering around in the details.)
Craftsman is gone, exactly what does Sears possess under its umbrella?
might seem like a comparison featuring apples and oranges, but
the reality is this: Sears Holdings is planning on closing dozens
upon dozens of stores. About 150 will be emptied and locked up
in the next three months… closed by March of 2017. Exactly what
shelves are there going to be in years to come for displaying
those Craftsman tools? (And how long will that not-even-a-billion-dollars
from the sale of Craftsman keep Sears Holdings operational?)
in business dealings, and even personal relationships, one of
the most basic elements in comprehending what’s taking place comes
from spotting the motivation… and to that end, we’ll call it finding
the win-win area. If we want to assume the best, meaning that
both sides are going to benefit from a transaction, then there
needs to be an actual benefit.
this case, for Sears Holdings, the only thing I see is a delay
of the inevitable. For whatever the reasons… soon it might just
be… Caldor and Lechmere and Sears. (Oh my.)