Sears' new pilot store to move away from malls
By Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, 3/24/2003 12:00:00 AM
NEW YORK —
Continuing to turn around its retail business, Sears will open a pilot store this fall that "gets us back into the convenience business" in categories it's exited, said Alan Lacy, chairman and ceo.
The freestanding full-line, off-mall format will offer more transactional items that will put "us on the path to better store growth," he said at the Merrill Lynch Global Retailing Leaders Conference last week. "We're just too mall dependent."
Turning to merchandise, the Land's End acquisition was primarily done because it can attract Sears' hardlines customer to a softlines brand. Seventy-five percent of the 40 million households that shop Sears on a regular basis only buy hardlines, he said.
Lacy also addressed the credit card business, which he felt was doing well. With $1.5 billion last year in revenue, "it's an important profit generator." The problems it had last year were with two million accounts that were prospected and which became the most problematic in credit. Those have since been curtailed, and now account for 15 percent of the MasterCard balances.
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