Sears Essay

4616 words - 18 pages

Industry Analysis

John Wanamaker created the first department store in 1876. This was a new idea of combining many specialty stores into one large store. Wanamaker also pioneered the use of price tags, money-back guarantees, newspaper ads, and white sales. His first store was a men's' and boys' clothing store in partnership with his brother-in-law Nathan Brown. Business grew during the Civil War, and by 1872, was the largest clothing retailer in the nation. A much larger store was created in 1876 which sold men's and women's clothing as well as dry goods, housed in a former railroad depot. In 1877, he added several other "departments" under the same roof. Wanamaker opened a second store in New York City in 1896, and continued enlarging his stores.

The average size of the market is 14,714,835 million with and average sales of 19,645,287 million and employee size of 121,859 thousand. Sears has its market of 14,000,933 million and its sales and employee sizes are 41,388,000 million and 289,000 and ranks near the bottom in all three categories out of the 25 competitors which consist of Target, K-Mart, J.C. Penney and other department and discount stores.

The retail industry is sensitive to market and economic trends. Profits can rise and fall fast. The shaky economy has been forcing consumers and businesses to reassess their strategies and move in new directions. For shoppers that means heading to discount chains; for designers and department stores, it's reworking strategy to go where shoppers are spending money; and for manufacturers, it means moving production overseas where labor is cheaper.

Competition from abroad may also threaten American retailers. The influx of style-conscious, low-cost chains is increasing the choices for the trend-minded shopper. In the battle for tightly held consumer dollars, sheer size is no longer enough; the players in the apparel industry will need to look to innovative and original business models to stay in fashion.

There will always be a demand for goods carried in department stores.
A variety of niches available for retailers to fill.
Department stores carry a wide variety of products and services.
Department stores tend to be cheaper than specialty stores.
Store loyalty is prevalent in the retail industry.

History/Background

Sears, Roebuck & Co. first started in 1886 when Richard Sears started selling watches to supplement his income. In 1887, Sears settles in to the company's first location in Chicago and hires a watchmaker Alvah C. Roebuck. In 1883 the corporate name became Sears, Roebuck & Co. and in 1925 Sears opened its first retail store on Chicago's' west side. Sears is a multi-line retailer that offers an array of merchandise and related services in the United States. The Company is organized into four principal business segments: retail and related services, credit and financial products, corporate and other and Sears Canada. The retail and...

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