Retailer curtailing: Some stores seem destined for post holiday doom

12/08/14 by Rennie Detore

The holiday season isn't always overflowing with cheer, joy and jubilation, particularly if you're a fledgling and floundering retailer that is failing miserably to gain traction in the marketplace and attract the attention of consumers who are already pinching pennies with their gift buying.
Granted, no store really scored big on "Black Friday" aside from retailers that dabble in a little bit of everything or already are considered discount spots that went over and above their already low prices (think stores like Dollar General for the latter and Kohl's for the former).
But some stores truly are hurting badly and in some cases it can be traced to a sluggish economy and perhaps a more prudent and mindful consumer base that isn't overspending this year and is paying closer attention to their budget.

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The flip side to saddling poor sales on people just not spending much is pointing the finger squarely at retailers that seemingly haven't done much to distinguish themselves from other stores and brands, or seem archaic and irrelevant due to a lack of changing with the times or developing some sort of marketing or advertising campaign that catches the attention of the masses.
Think re branding meets re imagining with the end result being driving sales and revenue.
Stores like Sears, Radio Shack and K Mart come to mind almost immediately if you're going to start listing your biggest offenders as it relates to a lack of change. These retailers have done very little to differentiate themselves from other, more versatile corporations like Wal Mart, Target and Lowes, for example.
A closer look at the aforementioned stores that are struggling shows a lack of direction and honestly a hodgepodge of products with no real sense of expertise in one area. When consumers think of the "do it yourself" mentality, appliances or anything home related, they think Lowes. The branding and marketing of Lowes and their simple yet effective "Let's Do This" tag line spawned an entire new customer base that felt empowered to fix, remodel and paint just about anything.
Sears doesn't have that "wow" factor, but rather does a lot of little things on an average scale. They hae exercise equipment but their no Dick's Sporting Goods; the TVs are fine, but Best Buy, Target and Wal Mart often have better prices and just as much of a selection. Appliances are a hand's down Lowes or Home Depot division; no one really thinks of Sears in that regard.
And as far as K Mart, they're the equivalent of Wal Mart and Target lite. Very lite. The electronic section alone in most stores looks less impressive than what most people have in their game rooms or man caves.
While resurrecting these retailers typically is difficult, it doesn't have to be impossible. Plenty of stores around the country will close so that the corporations that run Sears, Kmart or Radio Shack can recover somewhat financially but that mindset of cutting expenses only lasts for so long before bankruptcy becomes the new battle cry and subsequent marketing slogan.
To truly fix these stores, the answer comes from within, whether that is scrapping the look of the stores, devising a new logo or catch phrase or just finding enough creativity and aspirations to find purpose to open the doors of these places on a daily basis.

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