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It has been my opinion for several years that  business owners and managers should have worked in an industry to run it. The Current CEO of these companies has made a joke out of 2 American icons. He has sold off parts of the business to get cash and has put no money into either business as far as store upgrades and computer systems. To top it off the long term employees who are left are primarily part time and without the pension package they worked 30 plus years for in some cases. These two institutions are being mismanaged from top to bottom with the workers and store managers taking the hit.  The article below is indicative of that.

By Ashley Lutz | Business Insider – Mon, Oct 21, 2013 8:26 AM EDT

 Sears, once America’s golden retailer, is a company in crisis. 

The company has shuttered hundreds of stores in recent years. The embattled company has been selling some its most profitable stores to raise money. 

Brian Sozzi, chief equities strategist at Belus Capital Advisors, took poignant photos inside of New Jersey  and New York Sears locations. 

“To understand why Sears is in a ‘sell stores mode’ one must look no further than the stores themselves, where the truth is to be found,” Sozzi writes. 

His photos show the sad reality of what Sears is today. 

Sears’ mannequins are outdated in comparison with competitors like Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, and JCPenney, Sozzi says. “If you are living darn near paycheck to paycheck, does this presentation excite you about making a purchase with a couple saved up electronic dollars?”

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

Sozzi points out that this display is confusing. “Huh? A random football themed carpet with no promotion around it?” he says.

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

What’s the deal in the back of this electronics department?” Sozzi asks. “Does Best Buy look like this? Or, how about the electronics sections at Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, and BJ’s Wholesale? Nope.”

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

The shoe department isn’t adequately stocked, with empty shelves.

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

“The team can’t find any way to repurpose abandoned portrait studios into something that drives traffic and sales?” Sozzi asks. “The consistently dark zones give a ‘going out of business’ feel to nearby departments that actually log some sales, which include appliances and baby.”

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

Lights are out in the store. “This is not great for flattering a potential customer trying on merchandise,” Sozzi writes.

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

“This is where the store underinvestment appears loud and ugly,” Sozzi says.

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

“Attack of the female basics? Look at the lack of organization,” Sozzi says.sears decline

Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

Associates weren’t on hand to help make purchases in this disorganized department, Sozzi says.

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

These displays are almost totally empty.

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

“Toys stacked on a shelf next to an escalator by the shoe department,” Sozzi writes.

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

Again, Sears is disorganized. “Accessories are some of the only discretionary items selling in the mall with consistency these days,” Sozzi writes. “Best of luck navigating this flea market experience.”

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

The men’s department is overwhelming. “Inventory excess…an entire department of it!” Sozzi says. “Who is in charge of planning and allocation?”

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

The beauty department also lacks innovation in comparison with competitors. “JCPenney has Sephora. Macy’s newly remodeled stores have an array of associates at the ready to assist in cosmetics, ditto Lord & Taylor,” Sozzi says. “Ulta stores are popping up everywhere. Sears, well, yeah.”

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

“Retail is detail? Not here,” Sozzi writes.

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

The random clothing racks are confusing to customers and show a lack of organization.

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

This mat appears to be shabby and stained.

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

Sozzi left the store with an empty cart.

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Brian Sozzi/Belus Capital Advisors

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