NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- You might recall, two Saturdays ago, an article I published featuring truly pathetic pictures from Sears Holdings (SHLD) stores went viral.
It's important to note that, despite the cat calls I received from Sears and a small fraction of the public, I have been more than fair in my coverage of the company. For goodness sake, in the very article with the "pathetic" pictures, I posted relatively attractive shots of Sears in Santa Monica.
With that mind, in the aftermath of the original dustup, a company called Rewardable contacted me and offered to visit a sample of retail outlets and systematically take photographs of Sears stores.
In the interest of transparency I want to give you as much information about their process as I can so bear with me -- the images are on the way.
But there's some interesting info and quantitative data to consider at the outset.
First, here's how Rewardable asked me to describe the study and what it does:
The data and photos were captured last weekend (Jan 11-12, 2014), as part of a larger retail study, by Rewardable, a cloud-based data collection start-up. The company utilizes mobile technology with a crowd sourced workforce to efficiently gather in-store (and other real world) data sets for a diverse array of companies -- ranging from leading hedge funds to retailers to government agencies.
Rewardable had its "crowd sourced workforce" visit Sears as well as J. C. Penney (JCP) stores. I chose not to print the JCP pictures because, frankly, there was nothing there. Not messy. Just standard run of the mill, sterile and boring big box retail. This crowd sourced workforce also answered a survey based on their experience visiting the stores.
As the results (narrated by Rewardable staff) show, JCP scored consistently higher than Sears.
Rewardable had its people visit 120 JCP and 80 Sears stores across the country last weekend. The average age of the respondent was 40 with a 66%-34% female/male split. Remember, the respondents to the survey also took the pictures I will display and discuss later in this article. Now, here are the study's takeaways: