After Sears filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2018, the store is headed in a new direction that doesn’t involve more store closing. Two months after finishing its bankruptcy proceedings, the company will open three smaller, more selective locations.
The AP reports that a bankruptcy court judge approved the sale of Sears’ assets to company chairman and largest shareholder Eddie Lampert for $5.2 billion in a bankruptcy auction.
The 125-year old company announced it would be opening smaller Sears Home and Life stores, cutting back it’s store sizes to 10,000-15,000 square feet from its massive mall space locations.
Sears states as part of a new area, its plans to open three of the Sears Home & Life stores in May in Anchorage, Alaska; Lafayette, Louisiana; and Overland Park, Kansas.
These stores will focus on Sear’s strong selling points, such as appliances, mattresses and home services, based on insight received from Sears Appliances and Mattress stores that opened in 2017 in several nationwide locations, according to Sears.
“The exciting new Sears Home & Life stores will carry power categories where Sears has a real strength: Appliances, mattresses and our home services business,” said Peter Boutros, chief brand officer for Sears and Kmart and president of Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands. “We are here to serve these communities, and this is part of our strategy to maintain a presence in markets where we have right-sized our footprint. Sears Home & Life supports our strategic plan to become a stronger, more profitable business and these test stores will enable us to learn and improve as we move forward.”
Sears Home & Life stores will supply communities with products such as major appliances, small kitchen appliances, connected smart home devices and mattresses.
CNN wrote that the company was able to keep open 425 of the original Sears stores, amounting to around 45,000 jobs.
Sears is focusing on “downsizing” its footprint and has initiated some new era initiates like online purchasing, appliance repair, free store pickup by shopping at sears.com and sears online buy.
Feeling the heat of online retailers such as Amazon, Sears is thinking smaller, agile and online-friendly approach will draw customers to a smaller-spaced store.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Sears is trying to attract two key groups of customers — baby boomers and young families.
“Products will be targeted to appeal to those groups, like back-to-school clothing, baby and pet products for young families, and home items for boomers who might be downsizing or upgrading long-owned appliances, Boutros said,” the Chicago Tribune reported. “While shoppers tend to see Sears as a destination for big-ticket home items, Kmart customers tend to shop more frequently for everyday purchases, and the company wants stores to feel more connected to their communities, Boutros said.”
Sources: CNN, Chicago Tribune