Seeking Alpha

Sears Holdings (SHLD +1.6%) is the latest retailer to slash layaway fees and add delivery...

Sears Holdings (SHLD +1.6%) is the latest retailer to slash layaway fees and add delivery options as it looks to stay competitive during the holiday season. One new option for customers is the ability to place items on layaway from store kiosks for later delivery to their houses.
Comments (14)
  • MSF INVESTMENTS
    , contributor
    Comments (4142) | Send Message
     
    Sears is definitely getting it together.

     

    If you noticed their discounted advertisements for appliances are great, however, they are not discounting as much as before ,hense , their profit margins will be better and the deeper discount is not needed due to better business.
    4 Oct 2012, 02:46 PM Reply Like
  • Eric Cartmen
    , contributor
    Comments (33) | Send Message
     
    LOL - really? We did this last year (lay-a-way) from the computer and the store. We went to pick up one lay-a-way they loaded to the car no problem. Went to pick up other half later that week and they loaded both law-a-ways - so we received one lay-a-way twice which amounted to $550. Imagine if I wasn't a Sears employee, I would of had a $550 Christmas present. Hope they have gotten it more together since then.
    4 Oct 2012, 03:22 PM Reply Like
  • MSF INVESTMENTS
    , contributor
    Comments (4142) | Send Message
     
    My experiences have been always good and it is getting better and better.

     

    Looks like we are going to get a grand slam from Sears and not just a home run.

     

    The baby Berkshire is starting to bloom.

     

    Lahiem
    5 Oct 2012, 02:51 AM Reply Like
  • jasonrothman1
    , contributor
    Comments (125) | Send Message
     
    Well, it's hard to say. There has always been a certain percentage of the public that uses layaway, fee or no fee. Then there are the people who simple buy outright. Sure there are those in the middle or on the fence thinking about doing layaway, but I believe that depends on the products they advertise and at what price point. If it's something you can't get cheaper somewhere else and one doesn't have the money to get the deal, then you'll see an increase in sales. If not, there may not be a significant amount to get them out of their "slump." I still see poor service and not having the right product at the right price in the stores. I believe it all comes down to their ability to get the shoppers back into the stores.

     

    As far as their appliance sales, they need to offer a great deal and match other companies that offer free delivery. Some people I know thought of buying with Sears but was turned off by the $69.99 delivery and $10 haul away fees. Kmarts don't even offer a dedicated service associate in their appliance section anymore (they were all fired over a year ago) and has become mostly a "cash and carry" situation, unless you're willing to call a toll free number to order and set up delivery. They will let you use their store phone, but what kind of "customer service" is that?

     

    Well, keep taking advantage of the stock, which seems to keep doing well in spite of the poor performance in the stores, but this is most likely a "make or break" year for Sears Holdings, at least for the brick and mortar part of the company.
    4 Oct 2012, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • MSF INVESTMENTS
    , contributor
    Comments (4142) | Send Message
     
    They are in the process of restructuring and have good business plans and strategies and are executing.

     

    Remember the company is called Sears HOLDINGS and they are a holding company.

     

    I strongly believe that the Hedge funds owned by Lampert will dissolve into Sears Holdings stock making it his only investment vehicle.Just like Buffett did with Berkshire Hathaway.

     

    Lampert owns personally over 20 million shares of Sears stock in his personal account not to mention in his hedge funds.
    4 Oct 2012, 11:00 PM Reply Like
  • MSF INVESTMENTS
    , contributor
    Comments (4142) | Send Message
     
    You got to love the income stream coming from the outlet stores that were spun off.
    They are franchises buying products from Sears Holdings without Sears Holdings incurring expenses.
    5 Oct 2012, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • MSF INVESTMENTS
    , contributor
    Comments (4142) | Send Message
     
    General Electric recalled 69000 washers. You have to buy Kenmore if you want quality and price.

     

    MSF
    4 Oct 2012, 11:05 PM Reply Like
  • jasonrothman1
    , contributor
    Comments (125) | Send Message
     
    Actually Sears doesn't make any of their own appliances. Upwards of 60 different major manufactureres do. A salesclerk told me that about 80% are made by three major companies. Along with Whirlpool and Frigidaire, GE is among those three. So you never know what you are getting, but what helps Sears is that they can advertise that they carry every major brand. Plus, like you and most of the general public, Kenmore has gotten the reputation of being its own brand and manufacturer, when in reality it's just made for them, but that's a good thing.

     

    If I were Lampert, I wouldn't want to lose control of those brands Kenmore, Diehard, or Craftsman. They've become a staple in the minds of the American public. Sears and Kmart might die, but those names still carry a lot of weight, even if there really isn't as much truth in the fact that they are better or not compared to other brands.
    6 Oct 2012, 12:47 PM Reply Like
  • MSF INVESTMENTS
    , contributor
    Comments (4142) | Send Message
     
    Kenmore is a Sears brand. Who makes them - is Sears' business.
    8 Oct 2012, 12:29 PM Reply Like
  • MSF INVESTMENTS
    , contributor
    Comments (4142) | Send Message
     
    Sears Holdings has just announced that this year holiday season will be the busiest since 2007 and they will beat all retailers in numbers due to their strategic business plans.

     

    This DOES NOT include the liquidation of assets.

     

    The giant has awoken.

     

    Lahiem
    8 Oct 2012, 08:25 AM Reply Like
  • jasonrothman1
    , contributor
    Comments (125) | Send Message
     
    MSF could you provide a link to that announcement? I'd like to read the details they state. I just hope they're not being like "politicians" in there statements just because the presidential election is around the corner...LOL
    9 Oct 2012, 06:28 PM Reply Like
  • jasonrothman1
    , contributor
    Comments (125) | Send Message
     
    It's "my business" just as well. If I know there's a recall on GE products, I want to make damn sure I'm not buying the same product only with the Kenmore name stamped on it.
    9 Oct 2012, 06:23 PM Reply Like
  • jasonrothman1
    , contributor
    Comments (125) | Send Message
     
    Here's a great website to start with to find out who made your Kenmore appliance:

     

    http://bit.ly/PmhmVA
    9 Oct 2012, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • jasonrothman1
    , contributor
    Comments (125) | Send Message
     
    Don't worry about getting that link, here's one:

     

    http://prn.to/RO1iu0

     

    Mostly just PR smoke and rhetoric not specifically applicable to Sears just retail in general "according to a forecast from research firm ShopperTrak." I've seen figures that show some retailers are up in sales but not Sears.

     

    Let me give you some statistics I was given from people I know who work at Sears/Kmart. In a district containing approximately 24 Sears & Kmart stores combined:

     

    1. There's a requirement that cashiers to sign up at least 20% of non ShopYourWayReward customers that come through their lines (or they might get their hours cut). I was told most stores are only averaging about 4%.

     

    2. Stores are going into the holiday 4th quarter season being down in sales an average of 8% for the year.

     

    3. Most of these stores haven't received those tablets yet, and say they really don't have enough salespeople on the floor to be able to facilitate the full use of them for customers anyway.

     

    Of course, I can't substantiate this, since this information was given to me informally, but, if it is, I believe they need to depend less on their "new strategies and technology" and get back to basics and good old customer service in their stores... unless Eddie Lampert really does have other plans for the company.

     

    9 Oct 2012, 08:43 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Tools
Find the right ETFs for your portfolio:
Seeking Alpha's new ETF Hub
ETF Investment Guide:
Table of Contents | One Page Summary
Read about different ETF Asset Classes:
ETF Selector

Next headline on your portfolio:

|