This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Sears Treats Consumers Like They're Total Idiots

Stocks in this article: SHLD DPZ

Sears gets it right at the beginning of that spot -- seemingly hip shoppers park at Sears because it sucks and nobody shops there. It provides easy access to the mall and a quick getaway from the movies. But just a few seconds in, unlike Dominos, Sears goes off message. Or at least the message it ought to be sending. The girls in that commercial should have spit on the floor, maybe shoplifted and left in disgust, as the screen fades to black and slow white lettering announces:

We're Sears. And we have disgraced what was once a national treasure. We're going away for a while. But, when we come back, we promise to innovatively usher in the next phase of physical retail.

Or something like that ...

But, in effect, Sears chose to insult the consumers' intelligence.

First, by illustrating a scenario where all of these great experiences exist at Sears -- in plain view -- it's telling the viewer, even if implicitly, you're a loser. How could you let all of the cool and exciting things we've got going on in our stores take you by surprise?

A very closely-related second -- as TheStreet has detailed in recent weeks, you can't count on the clean, straightforward and positive experience Sears portrays in that ad. Most of us walk into Sears stores and see the complete opposite.

Simply put, until you have your junk together you better not sell an experience that doesn't exist across your entire population.

Dominos was smart; it didn't set an impossible standard for itself. It implied that the pictures you took of your pizza wouldn't look like the ugly ones it led off its advertisement with. But it never deluded or misled the viewer with the false notion that every pizza it sent out would be perfect.

Effectively, that's what Sears did by saying Our stores are empty. You think we suck. But you're wrong. Here's how it really is.

No Sears. That's not how it really is.

It's funny how the company accused TheStreet's Brian Sozzi, me and some of you of cherry picking an unrepresentative sample of images of horribly unkempt Sears store, yet, in its own marketing it's even more selective. Does anybody in their right, sane and honest mind believe that ...

  • The store those girls were shopping in are even close to representative of the 2,000 or so outlets the company operates;
  • and that those girls -- attractive and always in search of style and cool consumption opportunities -- are stumbling through those stores, finding themselves distracted from original plans by the goods and Sears' presentation of those goods?

Granted, Sears is attempting to change perceptions and create new ones. But you can't do that until you successfully pull the needle out of your arm and go cold turkey. Sears is attempting to turn up clean at Christmas dinner after a late night and early morning of injecting itself with the same drugs responsible for the strung out carcass it has turned itself into.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist for TheStreet. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.
2 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,422.50 +35.29 0.20%
S&P 500 2,024.92 -4.63 -0.23%
NASDAQ 4,682.33 +0.8330 0.02%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs