This Day On The Street
Continue to site
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

5 Companies That Really Need a Super Bowl Ad


Sears seems more interested in playing photo tag with our Rocco Pendola and Brian Sozzi than in getting anyone to shop at its stores, which explains a lot about its current state of affairs.

Even with 2,500 Sears and Kmart outlets and $40 billion in annual sales, Sears Holdings' revenue has plunged by 13.5% in the past four years. In early January, Sears gave analysts the heads-up that it was expecting a $1.4 billion loss for 2013. For the full year, Sears Holdings is projecting an adjusted loss of between $308 million and $408 million, which is an improvement in Sears Fantasyland compared with earnings of $557 million last year.

Its same-store sales have fallen for seven straight years, along with its American Customer Satisfaction Index score. While the S&P 500 has risen by roughly 114% since 2009 and Wal-Mart's share price has jumped by 50% in that span, Sears' shares have sunk 28% -- including a 70.5% drop from its lofty $122-a-share high in 2010. Chairman and Chief Executive Eddie Lampert closed a third of the chain's locations in the past four years and sold assets including Orchard Supply Hardware Stores, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Land's End and portions of Sears Canada. Its flagship Craftsman tools are now sold at Costco and Ace Hardware stores.

The S&P 500 booted it from the benchmark index, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average showed its ticker the door back in 1999. Meanwhile, Lampert has treated Sears' remaining flagship stores in downtown locations, stand-alone lots and old malls like real estate holdings. Sears even gleefully lists its available square footage on the company's "realty" site, and it's listening to offers to subdivide its remaining stores.

Those holdout stores look as if they've been encased in amber since the 1990s, as Sears and Kmart spend a scant $1 to $2 per square foot updating facilities, according to International Strategy & Investment Group. By comparison, competitors such as Target and Wal-Mart spend up to $8 per square foot painting, updating registers and replacing tiles.

Why should a company that spends so little on the basics spend $4 million on a 30-second Super Bowl commercial? To defend its thesis. Sears isn't afraid of spending on commercials and did so this holiday season to show that there's stuff worth buying inside that store everyone uses for easy mall parking. Granted, neither Sears numbers nor mall numbers support Sears' picture of untapped consumer potential, but shouldn't the company at least make an effort to tell its side of the story? If photos of disheveled clothes, empty rack and broken windows aren't doing Sears justice, shouldn't Sears bear the burden of proof and at least attempt to show a huge audience it's still alive and well? Shouldn't $4 million for 30 seconds now be considered a down payment on hours of shopping later?

It should, but that's not the game Sears is playing. It hasn't been for some time.

5 of 6

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr 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

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

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
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.64 0.00%
FB $118.57 0.00%
GOOG $698.21 0.00%
TSLA $241.80 0.00%
YHOO $36.53 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,891.16 +117.52 0.66%
S&P 500 2,081.43 +16.13 0.78%
NASDAQ 4,817.5940 +42.2360 0.88%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs