How Failure Inspires Rebirth: How Sears is Making A Comeback

Businesses have been coming and going in the United States ever since settlers first arrived on its soil more than 200 years ago.  Whether businesses like Atari or Polaroid fail because of new developments in technology, or because of bad business decisions like The Sharper Image, companies in the United States have always, and will continue to adapt to the modern times or become a symbol of the past.  One such company currently lingering on the cliff’s edge is Sears Holding Corp. 

Sears was founded in Chicago, IL in 1886 by Richard Warren Sears as a mail-order catalog company, and extended to retail store locations beginning in 1925.  The company remained as the largest retailer in the United States until Walmart appeared on the scene in 1989, and sales began to decrease year after year until the company was purchased by K-Mart in 2005. 

For a long time, now, Sears has made very little effort to increase sales revenue and customer retention, but as of 2015, it seems a small spark has reignited in the company management, who are now taking steps to save Sears from total closure and bankruptcy.  Despite sales dropping almost 14% since last quarter and store closures happening across the country, Sears has decided to bring several new faces on board that they hope will bring new direction and fresh determination to the historic company. 

One such person is former Amazon Logistics chief Girish Lakshman.  Lakshman, who has received excellent credibility during his 15-year career with Amazon, has been brought on to reboot Sears’ Shop Your Way retail strategy, which they hope to adapt to fit customer expectations for both the digital and in-store shopping experience.  The goal, of course, is to increase sales while making Sears one of the oldest American companies that will continue to grow as it adapts to the modern age. 

In addition to Lakshman, several other key figures have joined the Sears team as well, including former Hewlett-Packard executive Lynn Pendergrass, and Belkin Inc. veteran Tom Park, who will take over as president the Kenmore, DieHard, and Craftsman brand sales.  These individuals will be working closely with Sears CEO Eddie Lampert to “enhance our members’ experiences and support our transformation as an integrated retailer.”

The road to recovery for this American conglomerate will be long, but who can say as to how quickly they will accomplish their goal of reformation.  Since 2012, Sears has experienced a $6 billion loss in sales revenue, but rather than allow the company to go limping on to the point of bankruptcy, the management team is finally taking steps to increase productivity and bring customers back to the once thriving business.  The decision to save the company may be long overdue, but the first task of bringing in fresh ideas and setting goals and timelines for the recovery process is already underway.