Sears Looks to Brand Builders for Growth

Discussion
Jul 14, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Sears chairman and chief executive officer, Alan Lacy, has broken tradition by going outside the company’s merchandising ranks to recruit executives with strong CPG marketing backgrounds.


Their goal according to Crain’s Chicago Business is to “convey to customers, in a simple way, why they should shop at Sears.”


Mark Cosby, president of Sears’ full-line stores, previously ran the KFC restaurant chain. According to Crain’s, Mr. Cosby has advocated giving more authority to store managers to heal the us-versus-them mentality that has existed between headquarters and locals for a number of years.


Janine Bousquette joined Sears after years working with CPG giants P&G and Pepsi. Ms. Bousquette has been credited for helping reinvigorate the Pepsi and Mountain Dew brands.


Since joining Sears, Ms. Bousquette has launched the “Sears. Good Life. Great Price.” marketing campaign to reposition the retailer’s brand.


Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on Sears going
outside retail to recruit executives to turn the company around?

Kirk Palmer, chief executive officer, Kirk Palmer &
Associates told Crain’s, “Whether it’s chicken or tools, there has to be an
understanding of how you communicate with customers.”

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