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Sears works to win back shoppers

Merchandising chief Ron Boire says Sears is experimenting with new store designs in an effort to better connect with customers.

June 05, 2012|By Corilyn Shropshire

Despite Boire's efforts, some industry watchers said the company may have a hard time convincing critics that Lampert isn't merely gussying up the retailer to eventually wind it down.

"It's indicative of a lack of focus," said Steven Keith Platt, director and research fellow at Platt Retail Institute, an industry consultancy. "Stores that have not been refreshed or updated are a disaster for a retailer. Mix that with a lack of focus and it's no surprise they are in a tailspin."

Sears also needs a marketing strategy to go with the store makeovers, say industry watchers.

Boire said the retailer is focused on driving its message through a more personalized Web, mobile and social media presence, including the retailer's Shop Your Way customer loyalty program and its local ad initiative.

New customers will be reeled in via the plannedFather's Daytelevision ads geared toward a "broader audience that will make Sears a destination for all things dad," he said.

But the broader challenge is getting customers in the door and keeping them. Kerimi, who works across the street, said she hasn't had time to go back to Sears to buy the Kardashian jumpsuit she was considering.

"I do plan on going back to Sears to check out the clothes on sale," she said.

crshropshire@tribune.com

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