I received an email from Howard Reifs, Sears' Director of Corporate Communications, Tuesday afternoon.
In it, he wrote:
FYI - The windows you reference have to be specially fabricated and have been ordered. We are awaiting their arrival.
I replied with the following:
When did you order them? When will they arrive?
It has been about 7 months since the riots. Do you not see any problem with leaving boards and such up on the windows? Couldn't you have come up with a better or different solution in the meantime?
I intend to publish the contents of this email as Sears' response.
Though I have yet to hear back from Reifs with answers to these questions (after repeated attempts), the San Francisco Chronicle, who broke the original story in December, received confirmation from the Oakland Building Department that Sears has indeed ordered the windows and "expect(s) installation in about a month."
No mention of TheStreet's story in the Chronicle story or if my article from Tuesday is what prompted Sears to act, but the newspaper had no problem hijacking my application of the Broken Windows theory. It's all good, as long as Sears follows through. They'd better because it's been a bad week and really an awful start to the year for some physical retail players, as further evidenced by Best Buy's (BBY) bad holiday numbers Thursday morning.