Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Check out our new Greenville, SC commercial! It's wonderful that we're moving forward on the social media front. We have commercials, videos, reviews, blogs and many other media outlets that are helping us gain traction with new customers. Our exclusive Facebook discounts and twitter presence allow us to connect with customers on a real-time basis. Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Big Warm-up

Today, Lands' End announced that it was teaming up with the National Coalition for the Homeless to collect coats for those in need across the country starting October 29 through November 30. It's a wonderful campaign that you can learn more about at

Lands' End selected Bolyston Plaza in Boston to develop an installation showing 768 stick figures. Each figure represents ten people (equating to 7681 homeless people in Boston). The goal of the campaign is to collect gently used coats to give to homeless people this winter. Check out the video. It's pretty cool!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sears opens outlet inside Kmart - The Oakland Press Business: The best place for news in and around Oakland County

Sears opens outlet inside Kmart - The Oakland Press Business: The best place for news in and around Oakland County

What does it take to open a new store? Take a look at the before shots:

Work still in progress...

Now, the after shots

Grand opening is Saturday, 10/24/09...

Sears Outlet Rocks!!!!! Hope to see you on Saturday...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sears Outlet's Home Office - An Insider's View

Yesterday, we celebrated the opening of our 87th store in Cincinatti. You probably would've guessed it, but we're really proud of our new stores, especially amidst the sluggish economy.

Each time a new store opens, the home office celebrates with a small ritual that goes something like this: 15 minutes before our weekly meeting, the team heads to a wall board showing our new store progress. The Cincinatti store was the 5th new store opening in 2009. Chad Ware (our National Manager for New Store Development) announced the news and then members of the home office proceeded to post some information about the store onto the board. I took part in the Arlington, TX home office celebration a few months ago and it was pretty fun to feel the excitement. Here are some pics from the day:

Caption: Grand Opening in Cincinatti

Caption: Chad Ware introducing our newest store to the Outlet Home Office.

Caption: Store number 87. We're in it to win it!

Caption: Our Business Analyst Jen adds information to our New Store Growth Wall Board.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sears Outlet Announces New Store Opening in Cincinnati, OH!!

What a great feeling to have a new Sears Outlet opening! Below is the press release for the big news. We're almost to 100 stores! Let's keep it rollling!

Oct 8, 2009

Sears Outlet Announces New Store Opening in Cincinnati, OH

Hoffman Estates, IL, Oct 8, 2009 - Sears announces the Grand Opening of a new Sears Outlet location at 10200 Colerain Ave in Cincinnati, OH this Saturday, October 10, 2009.

The outlet will feature some of the best names in appliances, tools, fitness equipment, TV’s, mattresses sets, lawn & garden and more at 20-60% the retail price. Plus 60-80% off Lands’ End clearance apparel.

“Sears is the leading retailer for washers, dryers and refrigerators in the country,” said Jaime Brooks, vice president and president, Sears Outlet. “Sears Outlets provide a great format for shoppers to buy nationally recognized brands that are important to home and family life at significantly reduced prices while still receiving the customer service, access to the same warranties and credit solutions offered at Sears’ full-line stores.”

The Cincinnati outlet features brand names that include: Kenmore, Whirlpool, LG, and GE appliances, along with Craftsman, NordicTrack, Sony, Sealy and Land’s End. The merchandise is new, one-of-a-kind, out of carton, discontinued, used, reconditioned, or scratch and dented. Irregularities prevent many items from being sold as new, which means they’re available at a great value for our customers. Sears Outlets stores also carry name brands from other retailers and are the exclusive liquidator for Fisher & Paykel appliances which can be found in homes throughout Europe, New Zealand and Australia.

The Cincinnati outlet receives new shipments of merchandise throughout the week and prices are continually marked down so shoppers are encouraged to check back often. Customers can take the items home that day or have their merchandise delivered to their home.

Sears Outlets currently has over 80 locations throughout the United States.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The New Chic: Searching For A Bargain At An Outlet

The Bargain Hunter is always on the lookout for deals. So I asked myself: How many discount outlet stores can you think of that will sell refrigerators, washers and dryers and other home appliances alongside CLOTHING? I couldn't think of many except for Sears Outlet. In responding to customer needs, they've added new apparel-only and hybrid (apparel + appliance) stores across the country (most recently in Hendersonville, TN). Check out a picture of one of their stores in Marietta, Georgia:

In today's world, there are so many discount apparel options. There's burlington coat factory, JC Penney outlet, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, etc. But I've found that Sears Outlet is a little different from those guys and here's why:

Prices: Once you come visit, you'll see what I mean. I've seen Lands End shirts for as low as $3, and many of the clothes are up to 80% off everyday prices.

Assortment: They don't carry everything that the other discounters do. Sears Outlets have their own styles, brands and products.

Bargain Hunter's Shopping Experience: You can find really good stuff at these stores. The treasure hunt is part of the excitement when I go to an outlet. New merchandise comes in on a regular basis.

Home Appliances: You have the option to look for clothes, but you can also browse the selection of large and small home appliances in hybrid stores. It's a really convenient feature of these stores.

So if you're close by to one of the new hybrid or apparel-only stores, I recommend that you check it out. Let us know what you think. Happy bargain hunting!

Monday, October 5, 2009

If There's a Recession, It's Not Apparent In The Discounter's World

Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve board, said yesterday that the nation’s unemployment rate of 9.8 percent was “pretty awful” and expected the figure to climb even higher. He also suggested that a value-added tax (VAT), or national sales tax, might be necessary to raise revenue for the U.S...Does that mean that we're all doomed?

The economy is highly correlated to the revenues of big-box retailers and luxury boutiques, so most have had to adapt. Luxury brands have been hit the hardest, but the strongest, most innovative companies are surviving - what are they doing to withstand the downturn and what can we learn from this? A lot of companies have been migrating their brand, customer service and deals to outlets. Some retailers would think that this is a ludicrous idea. Why dilute your brand by placing merchandise into a bare-bones box built in a barren location? The evidence points us to a different conclusion: customers have migrated their shopping habits towards the best deal out there. Add to that some customer service and some good branding, and Voila! -- you have a new channel for making revenue in this economy. In some cases, it's become the MAIN channel for revenue generation.

Originally set up as a way to clear out excess inventory from a parent company, outlet stores are today's discount retailers. Not only do outlets sell discontinued, overstock and refurbished products, many outlets developed exclusive contracts with third party vendors to produce new in-box items that are exclusive to that outlet. Brooks Brothers has the "346" brand, while Sears Outlet has a Fisher & Paykel washer and dryer brand called "Elba". Many of these outlet-specific products can be manufactured at lower costs because they don't include the frills that full-price store products include. Lower costs generally lead to lower prices and more customer traffic. Though there is a hit on margins, analysts have seen healthy sales numbers for outlets. This strategy is a winning formula for many retailers today.

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