The paper “ Brand Paring in Changing Economy” is a convincing variant of case study on marketing. This case involves Sears Roebuck that is faced with the challenge of changing its strategy in marketing and organizational management. It has come to the notice of management through the company chief executive that the apparel strategy pursued in the last decades had a dismal financial outcome. Sears Roebuck has a plan of reducing the number of career merchandise lines, focusing casual lines that are better, and also wants to remodel 580 of its largest full-time stores.
The company has a plan of introducing a private “ mega-brand” and also has to emphasize on classifications. The strategy to restructure the company operations is estimated to last a period of three years. The plan involves laying-off twenty-two percent of the total salaried workforce which is 4,900 salaried employees. The store’ s legendarily complicated chain of command and the selling floor has to be reconfigured to give it a new face or outlook that will be more productive and manageable. The apparel initiatives that are to be introduced comprise of reduction of career merchandise and directing the assortment on casual lines that are better.
The company is targeting on splitting the apparel assortment less or more equally between private label and national brands. In so doing, the brands the company carries are expected to decrease significantly. A majority of casual private brands are expected to be replaced with a private-label “ mega-brand” across women’ s, children’ s and men’ s. The company wants to focus more on classifications as opposed to collections. The strategy of being a moderately priced departmental store seems not to be working for the company and according to the company’ s Chief Executive Officer there is need to change to a new level of operation (Gilmore, 2003). The company has to change the mode of operation and curve its on identity on the market to be able to fit into the current systems of operation.
The future of the company is hazy and there is no clear definition of the path to follow. The company does not want to be just a department store or a discounter, it wants be something different according to the statement of Lacy, the company’ s chief executive.
Kotler (2000) points out that the future of the company may not be well or clearly defined but it is determined to depart from the old order of doing things. The recommendation of the division head of the 860 full-line stores emphasizes on the need of the company to build its own brand name as Sears and not operating just like any other store in town. This is strengthening the name of the company through strategic positioning so that the customers can identify with the company as Sears and not just like a store like any other. The company has considered discarding its $9 billion soft-line business and focusing on becoming an exclusive hard-lines store.
The company is considering Kohl’ s as a model for its software business. The company is geared towards becoming; and it has the potential to be a force to reckon with in the apparel world. According to Lacy, the company chief executive, the changes have been recommended following significant shifts in the market of the past year: department stores have gotten more promotional and discounters have become better.
Consequently the company management is compelled to adjust in order to fully address the changes occasioned by the shifts. The chief executive explains that the company has to be more competitive since it has been left to compete with discounters and low-margin. The rent paid to mall-based retailer is more reflective of department stores (Sadler 2001).