Our CEO blames the media what do you think?
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Haha you mention you have to use buckets to catch the rain in the atrium at corporate?? Well we use all those fabulous 18gal totes (in assorted colors) to catch the rain through out the stores, who ever the buyer is for plastics probably thinks they sell like hot cakes but in reality they are just being used for store use.. pure loss...
2ymo is absolutely right on the money. We have not invested to keep our stores up to date and done so for so long there is no way we have the resources to fix all of this. Just like a homeowner who does not fix problems and lets them build up until the cost to fix them exceeds the value of the home. We are in dire straits now. The only solution is to get new ownership via Chapter 11, we need different leadership. Captain Bligh (Eddie) just has to go. When he starts blaming vendors and the press then I know for sure the end is coming soon. I work in corporate and it's just embarrassing that every time it rains we have to use buckets to catch the dripping water in the atrium. That's just as sad as can be. Some of the carpeting & wallpaper in the offices should have been replaced 5 or 10 years ago. I can only imagine what is going on in the stores. Much of the same. When vendors come to corporate this does not look good for us.
1aqu- I appreciate your take on things but what I and many other don't understand is the disconnect of corporate and store. Just a couple of examples: Members first: How can you say that members are first when we keep cutting hours for associates and there is no one in the store to help the members?
How can we say members first when we have no time or experienced employees to help members make an informed decision to make a purchase?
WOW experience: How can we WOW a member when the stores are run down, the ceiling leaks, the bathrooms have no toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap etc. The only WOW experience we are giving members is "WOW, this place suc*s".
Serve, delight and engage our members: Hard to do any of those things when most of the associates are working less than 10 hours a week and most of that time is spent unloading trucks and stocking shelves. Also, with the emphasis on PA's, SYW, credit card sign ups how much is the focus on the members and how much focus is on getting personal information?
Inventory: We have nothing to stock the shelves that people want. We either have too much inventory of things people don't want (200 lawn lighthouses in our store) which we have sold for the last 10 years or we have nothing (toothpaste, seasonal sporting goods, garden shop) which people do want.
Technology: We are suppose to embrace technology. This would be great is the technology was not from the 1990's. Old computers, old printers, old copiers, old registers. How can we embrace technology when the technology has not kept up with the software or hardware. We have a 30 year old copier and printer in our store which breaks down at least twice a week and the repair guy has a hard time fining parts to fix them. No Wi-Fi in the stores is not an option, this is a must in modern retail.
Online sales (integrated Retail) : Slow web-sites, expensive, third-party vendors who take advantage of the platform. Mobile platform and website confusing, slow and hard to navigate. No boxes or shipping supplies ( I received and online order in a Tide detergent box). Too hard to cancel orders or get a refund.
Purchase agreements (warrenties): Expensive, third-party fufilment with no SHC involvement.
Service: Just look at the customer feed back on various web-sites including Sears Facebook, BBB, and SHC website.
Employee moral: No raises= no incentive= no future. Much online training on things that have nothing to do with sales, career advancement or retail education. Pushing credit cards, SYW memberships, leases, and PA turns customers off and makes them not want to shop in store.
It also stresses low paid employees and takes focus off of store sales and puts emphisis on corporate metrics.
Layoffs, store closings, job insecurity, focus on paper work, metrics, broken equipment, broken stores, no materials or equipment to do your job, dirty stores, no hours, no advancement, no incentives, no hours combined with more expectations, more work, and more stress makes no one happy--customers or associates.
I could go on but I don't have days to type. So there is my take
Don't listen to anyone from corporate they all live in a bubble. Total shills and have no idea what things are like in the stores.
I don't think all the top level executives are clueless.....I just think everyone has been so busy as EVERYONE is doing 2-3 jobs that some very important things are being overlooked. Trust me, I am by no means excusing anything. I work at corporate, and I have always asked that we bring in store managers, etc on store initiatives, but I don't work on the store side. I think it would be interesting for the store associates to see our reality too. Yes, we have the bathrooms that sometimes don't work either and yes we have parts of the atrium that leak when we get a really bad rain storm. I am not excusing anything, but we all have been part of the cut backs....not that it's by any means the end of the world and obviously from the posts on here our cutbacks in corporate have been less than out in the stores. It is a different Sears corporate than in the past. I work with many many associates at corporate who do understand the stores or used to as they came from the stores.
We all just need to do a better job of working together and understanding one another. That is why EVERYONE needs to speak up. Yes there are some bad corporate people and there are some bad store managers. That is the standard % you get at any company. And yes in today's world, there are many many associates who work at a company for two years and then move on and we are stuck with whatever they have done good or bad. But if you don't speak up to your store managers or market leaders (that is what a DM is called now right), then how does anyone know what is going on. I don't think it's out of nastiness that some things happen. I just think it's out of the fact that EVERYONE has taken on much much more than in the past. There are some days when I come home from work that I feel like I have run a marathon. I am sure, from what I am reading here, that that is the way you guys feel every day in the stores based on low staffing now.
There is more on this thread right here to turn things around for our business than I have ever heard in a meeting at corporate, should anyone with superiority be reading take note - your answers to fix things are below
About those raises. When I worked retail in high school, we received raises starting at either 6 months or a year. Small money like 15¢ an hour. This was at a middle of the road clothing store.
If Sears found their way to give something, even a token, it would feel much better.
Theirs a lot reasons the company is going under here are a few I can put right off the bat.
1) Corporate thinks they know all. Instead of heavily making all the decision corporate douche bags with suits maybe get the insight of actual people that run the stores maybe if they would allow a brain storm meeting with associates and managers getting their insights of how the company can improve what are the downs the biggest complains etc.
2) No motivation. If you get paid minimum wage you most likely will do minimum work. Not everyone deserves a pay increase, eliminate the slackers and reward the hard workers. They don't do either slackers stay; hard workers start doing less or they end up quitting losing a veteran. Hire a new guy that needs to go through all the hoops and loops to learn and try to be productive as the previous one (it takes a while to get good at it).
3) Invest in the actual store invest in IT! The software that is used in stores is very unstable very slow and inefficient. From doing scans to not being able to do a store 2 home on the old computers that crash randomly when actually doing a potential sale and losing the sale just because the computer crashed customer leaves angry and with a bad experience. Don't get me started with the Sears website its just trash so unstable so slow so laggy from the actual website to the app both of them make you go somewhere else to do your shopping.
4) Think outside the box their is a lot of ways the company can actually innovate. I have brought many ideas to my manager that seem like fantastic ideas (when I started off) yet they were shrugged and ignored. I have seen those ideas actually be used in Amazon believe me if Sears wasnt a follower, but someone that came up with a breaking idea they would stand a chance its all about bringing an idea that can break through and make the store glow make it shine. All Sears does is become a follower and they follow it wrong, because they don't know how to even copy.
5) Products. Bring the products customers want bring what actually sells, Nope Sears does the opposite gets rid of products that can sell and customers actually come and ask for those products. What response do I give them? Sorry we don't carry that brand anymore so theirs your potential sale lost because they get rid of selling points.
6) Customers first. Funny how I read that EL says we have enough customers yet he isn't willing to expand? EL is a fluke if anything the more customers you bring to your store the more sales you will generate win as many as possible (course trying to get some golden customers make the store strong). Not only does that make them happy makes them be welcomed make them want to come again and shop. Instead of what I see customers complain from managers being unprofessional to having no cashiers no where to be seen. Once again it comes with not investing in the low tier work force and cutting on those expenses which actually hurt more in the long run.
I can keep going I have had lots of insights and a lot to people that have shopped to worked in the actual company know the biggest flaws. The company would stand a chance, but its like they don't get it they don't try they just keep the same dated ideas.
There is a poor valuate proposition. If you are going to operate dilapidated brick and mortar stores you prices need to be rock ottom to intake customers
Are you looking for approval...? Eli.
"We don't need more customers. We have all the customers we could possibly want." - per stockholder meeting.
Insane (we all know the meaning of that).
Bankruptcy, bankruptcy, bankruptcy.
Getting a raise in this company is joke. Yes I have gotten a promotion to department lead,but didn't get a raise when I was promoted to backroom lead. They called it a lateral move. I called it a bunch of BS. The median hourly pay in my area for a receiving manager is $15.00hr. I currently make $11.00hr. I asked about a raise and the company doesn't have the money as my store manager likes to reiterate. So the writing is right there on the wall. You get what you pay for. Full time at $11.00hr isn't any money.
The one thing that keeps being stated is not giving raises, and that isn't completely true. You can get a raise at Sears Holdings, but you have to be promoted too. I don't know, but it sounds like that isn't possible in the stores? There isn't room for a promotion? Maybe that is the issue too flat of an organization in the stores.
I do agree that anyone that works in corporate should have to first work in the stores as I did for several years upon being hired. I also think corporate associates should be required to work so many days every year in the stores to understand the changing stores. Hopefully that change will come about in the near future.
I don't understand the outdated merchandise because I make a concerted effort to buy everything I can at Sears and/or Kmart, and I always find something. 80% of what I buy for birthday/Christmas gifts also is from Sears and/or Kmart. I have found clothes from baby age up to grandparent age. Sometimes you have to search a bit, but we do have product. I should also say that I buy all my footwear online as we have a better selection of footwear online, and to be fair I buy a lot of the apparel online too, so maybe what you are stating is that each store has a different assortment level and maybe it's gotten bad in some of the stores?
As I walked through the corporate headquarters, I also thought about the comment that the corporate office is "in decay." Yes, we have some leaking when it's pouring outside, but today on a sunny day, it really is quite pretty in the atrium. I think our building overall isn't bad. And quite frankly, I would feel guilty if they were putting more money in the headquarters as opposed to spending in the stores for upkeep.
Once again, the main reason we have fallen into challenging times is due to some, not all, ineffective leaders. We do have some good leaders too and no they weren't all driven away by EL. I wish the apparel team had never moved to San Francisco....what a shame and such an expensive place to be. And from what it sounds like from these postings, the stores not being given the same opportunities to advance as we can in the corporate office. It blows my mind that store associates don't think they have the opportunity to come into headquarters the way they used to. Many of us here started in stores.
As many people of explained in detail. Ineffective and incompetent leadership. That's really the biggest one.
The first mistake was hiring people for upper management (corporate and store level) who have no idea about the retail world. Then implementing policies that only benefit him and not the employees or customers. Another big reason is not investing in the stores and selling outdated merchandise no on wants. This is the biggest thing in my opinion, not giving raises for over ten years and losing experienced workers because of this.
As someone else said, quality of products has gone downhill. People don't want to buy cheap junk.
No investment. Stores are in decay with roofs
leaking etc, the corporate offices are in decay (yes the main lobby leaks when it rains) etc. no investment in people i.e no raises, employee discounts, promotions, 401K's etc etc. the gaurenteed layoffs. Why would people FIGHT for success when we are treated so horribly. Why would we follow are leader into BATTLE under these circumstances? As a result despite the propaganda regurgitated by highest-ups EVERYONE (including them) has one foot out the door which stunts productivity, passion and ideas, just a few of the elements we need to succeed as a business. I want to fight it's just hard when I'm left abandoned in the war zone with no weapons, protective gear, support or direction
Effective leaders are always their own worst critic. They understand their strengths and their weaknesses. They optimize their strengths and hire highly competent people to manage their weaknesses. They are not afraid to hit the trenches to examine how the battle is being fought and to make sure it is being won. They are quick to recognize when a plan is not going well and quick to modify it.
Does this describe the self-absorbed, self-promoting, micromanaging, reclusive, obtuse, blame shirking twit running SHC? No, I don't think it does!
He admits (barely) that the company has been in a downward spiral for years. Reasons include:
Historically, getting out of "mail order" right when it was about to pop big time. Not the current leaderships fault, but quite possibly the first nail in the coffin.
Very poor implementation of an internet strategy. Essentially a poor copy of what Amazon did with "Marketplace" sellers. Only Amazon is highly regarded provides high quality customer service even for marketplace sales. Sears doesn't have the resources provide that level of customer service on their own sales.
No investment in the stores. The stores are absolutely disgusting, even in "nice" malls. Kmart is worse.
The SYW fallacy.
Lack of leadership.
Historically the rise of Walmart and Target who did discount and nice, respectively, better than KMart and Sears. Both are doing the Internet thing better too, though Walmart's marketplace seller strategy really mucks up their online-to-store experience. Kohls too on the soft-goods side. KMart is essentially the last of the low-class discount retailers with companies like Venture, Hills, Ames, Big Wheel, etc long-gone. Sure at one point they attempted the Superstore concept, but really, who among even bargain shoppers wanted KMart brand food? They really should have opened the superstores under a different banner in retrospect--maybe even partnered with a respected grocer.
Destroying the quality of the brands. This goes way back with Sears continually devolving the quality of Craftsman, Kenmore, etc. during the 1980's They lived off "that's what mom and dad bought" for a part of a generation until that turned into "its not the same as when mom and dad bought it." At the same time major competitors stepped up their game on price, selection, and even quality. For example on various hobby forums, enthusiast tool users generally believe Harbor Freight sells a better tool today than Craftsman. They've really stepped it up from 5 years ago. And their retail footprint is now larger than Sears (excluding Kmart.) Where they aren't, they've always done mail order. If they get the online-to-store experience that will be killer for most enthusiast tool buyers who often need it right now, not in 2 days.
Failure to honor warranties. The sign on the door until very recently said "Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back." Note the period. They haven't honored that in years. I tried to get it honored on a lifetime tool where the only available replacement was pure garbage and they refused up to the VP level. I actually think just after that is when they scraped that off the doors at our most local remaining Sears. That's when I was done. I know of others with similar experience. Contrast with someone like REI or Costco who say that and mean it still today.
Number one reason for me is not paying attention to their stores. They're retail - not an online presence. Yeah, everyone has to have a website for their store now, but trying to pivot the whole business to an online powerhouse? Ridiculous.
Number two..MONEY - let's not forget that Eddies hedge fund has lent Sears Holdings in excess of 700 million dollars over the course of the last few years. When (not if) Sears Holdings does finally decide to file for whatever bankruptcy classification they choose, make no mistake - Eddie will be the first and creditor in line and most likely to get paid the most percentage of what he's owed.
Employees, even long-term employees, won't get anything other than their last paycheck and a kick in the butt to get them out the door faster.
Not investing in stores is reason #1.
Reason #2 is making the checkout experience excruciating--too long, too many attempts to upsell, not enough personnel.
Reason #3 is not investing in people. Cut wages, cut discount, cut pensions...
Reason #4 is thinking that libertarian philosophy is a proper strategy for managing a business.
Reason #5 is thinking like an MBA. Returns cost too much? Make them a PITA (but disregard the fact that a good return policy makes people spend more in your stores). Payroll too high? Cut it, hire at minimum wage, and take away commissioned positions (of course, who wants to talk to an ignorant person who has no incentive to know the product?) Good quality Craftsmen tools cost a lot to source? Get them in China (and lose formerly loyal customers) Corollary: knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing
Agree with he is hiring some incorrect leaders
It's simple....when you lose in excess of a billion dollars a year you can't survive.
Not investing in stores, employees, and customers is a start. Signing ppl up for SYW and credit is not investing in your customers. Thats just a tenth of the problem
1) Eddie keeps hiring useless leaders, that's why we are failing