Don't Let It Happen To You!
Last Update: Oct 7, 2018
There is much talk about disruption and chaos in business and last week there was one bit of news that was not a shock but disappointing, and the report was that Sears Holdings had become a penny stock. I must wonder when the stock delisting will occur much like the delisting of General Electric.
Again, I believe this is not news to anyone but how could a company that was too big to fail become a shadow of itself during the 21st century and not takes advantage of the signs of business disruption and chaos. Unluckily, it would appear they will go the direction of Circuit City, Mongomery Wards, Toys R Us, and others that did not make the adjustments.
I am guilty of not using Sears since they stopped producing catalogs that you could estimate seasons with and K Mart lost my business when they canned the Blue Light Special. These two items are what caused me to hold a grudge against both companies, and once they combined, I knew it was just a matter of time before they would need to roll up the sidewalks one last time.
It is amazing how these companies we have fond memories of were solid performers and the home of many subsidiaries and products. Many of them have been sold off or discontinued over time to allow Sears and K Mart to have the cash flow to once again restructure.
• Products we grew up with and have fond memories include:
o Toughskins clothing
o Winnie the Pooh clothing
o Thom McAn Shoes
o Kenmore Appliances
o Die-hard Batteries
o The SteadyRider Shock Absorber
• Products and subsidiaries we grew up with and have sold off or discontinued include:
o Lands End
o National Tire & Battery (NTB)
o Discover Card
o Craftsmen Tools
o Borders Books
o Walden Books
o Builders Square
o Office Max
o The Sports Authority
o Blue Light Internet
In the meantime, Sears and K Mart continue to close stores so they can reinvest in the remaining stores and restructure to prevent the house of cards from falling in, but it is doubtful these actions will save these two prosperous companies on the brink of failure.
You may say that all brick and mortar will disappear so this should not be a shock but if brick and mortar are failing, why is Amazon investing in this area? Sears did not open up stores until after World War One.
Others indicate that being an everything shop type company with a catalog is a thing of the past but what is Amazon other than an everything shop type company with an electronic listing of products.
Developing devoted customers was perfected by Sears and K Mart and guess what Amazon has replicated. Yes, developing dedicated customers.
Increasing market presence by expanding into insurance, car repairs, and similar ventures was a method Sears, and K Mart used to embed themselves in everyone's home. Amazon has Amazon Prime, Kindle, Whole Foods, and is using similar ventures to make themselves critical to each of us.
When I started this article, I talked about disruption and chaos and how it was imperative that businesses use these issues to not only become more competitive but to dominate markets if possible.
Amazon has utilized the same methodology Sears, and K Mart used but twisted it slightly to meet the disruption and chaos of the internet, smartphones, etc. Incredible how Amazon started out selling books and look at what has happened.
Sears and K Mart knew they had to change and were experiencing the disruption and chaos so why did they not act? It is sad when you start at the bottom of the mountain and make it to the top without the possiblility of being thrown over a cliff.
So how does this impact us? We should always be looking at how to take advantage of disruption and chaos in both our professional and personal lives and takes steps to turn these challenges into something constructive.
Disruption and chaos seem to happen more often when you are fifty plus going on fifteen, and I enjoy a good challenge. Remember, you can meet every problem head on by going over, under, around or through it.
How do you deal with disruption and chaos?
Do you have any examples of disruption and chaos that you dealt with positively?
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