Sears: Help Wanted

Jul 13, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Sears has a job opening.

The company is looking for a president to turn its struggling retail business around.

The new hire will be responsible for running all of Sears’ stores, including those in malls and stand-alone locations.

Sears has recently begun to aggressively seek to expand its stand-alone locations. According to a Reuters report, “Sears expects to have about 70 off-mall stores by the end of next year, including 12 to 14 Sears Grand locations and a new, mid-sized format that was announced with Sears’ planned acquisition of up to 61 Kmart and Wal-Mart stores.”

Speculation is Sears will look at its major big box competitors for talent to run its business.

Kurt Barnard of the Retail Forecasting Group said the new hire will need to “master the off-mall format from day one.”

Moderator’s Comment: What talents/skills will the new president of Sears need to turn the retailer around? Do you
have any suggestions/recommendations for Sears in its search?

It’s pretty much taken for granted Sears will look to Wal-Mart, Target or other big box operator to run its business.

We wonder, however, if it might not follow the lead of Home Depot and Albertsons and hire someone from outside the retail industry.

Perhaps it might even consider going after someone with an entertainment and CPG background, say former Coke president Steve Heyer.

Whoever it hires will need to be a great leader. Everything we’ve heard from those working in stores is that employees are dispirited and confused about
the direction the company is taking.

George Anderson – Moderator

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