retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Some more responses to my criticisms of Sears and its chairman's delusions of grandeur…

One MNB user wrote:

I use the Sears online website from time to time because I have the store card and it sometimes help to defer the payment rather than go to Amazon.

Unfortunately, they make the online  experience the most difficult one I’ve ever had, whether it be the broken links, missing images or complete lack of descriptions of items.  Using their loyalty program is the most difficult part of the whole exercise, as insignificant as the savings is most of the time.

Most recently, I immediately received an e-mail from a VP at Sears after I sent my order, asking for feedback, but I didn’t have the time or energy to e-mail her with the level of frustration that users face.  I mean – haven’t they ever set up an account and filled up a cart to see how buggy and unfriendly the process is?

My guess is that they’ll make it through one or two more holiday seasons.  They are the biggest promoters of Amazon around.


From MNB reader Kevin Sullivan:

I needed a car battery and headed for our local brick and mortar Sears.  I arrived at the store at 7:15 p.m.  Hundreds of batteries on the wall.  I found the one I needed and tried to pay.  I was told they were sorry but they could not sell me the battery after 7.  The service center was closed.  I politely told them I did not need the service center to put the battery in my car, I could handle the two bolts.  They again apologized and said I could not purchase the batter after 7.  Did I mention there were hundreds of batteries within easy reach?  They did tell me I could order the battery on line and pick it up tomorrow!  Crazy!!  I had to walk over to their competitor in the same mall and purchase a similar battery with a longer warranty for $30 less.  They were happy to sell me that battery at any time of the day.  If you don't go out of your way to service your customer, you will not be in business much longer.  You point of differentiation is only to be difficult to deal with and that is what you would call an eye opener!!

Absolutely.




I wrote yesterday that now that we have Sunday delivery via the USPS from Amazon, I cannot imagine why consumers would tolerate anything less.

Which prompted MNB reader Joe Frindt to write:

In regards to why consumers shouldn’t DEMAND Sunday delivery, perhaps it is because some consumers understand that maybe one day of our already crazy lives should be reserved as best as possible for some sort of worship, family, and spiritual thought as opposed to DEMANDING that your next DVD or package of razors or newest iPhone be delivered right now.  Sheesh, for a guy that talks about his family a lot, I thought you would consider that maybe everyone should get an opportunity to enjoy theirs.

I would think that the USPS folks who are making those Sunday deliveries should be thrilled to have jobs, considering the state of the USPS.

As for "demanding" … I didn't. They offered. I accepted.

I'm old enough to remember a time when everything was closed on Sundays, but the world changed. I think for the better, but I understand that some folks would disagree with that. I think that Amazon, by offering Sunday deliveries, is just keeping pace with the way the world works.




Finally, responding to yesterday's piece about a story that cited 23 beers one must try before dying, MNB reader Mike Franklin wrote:

To a mid-westerner, Oregon micro-breweries would be a mystical and strange world…Beervana even. We actually have 253 micros in Oregon that could challenge any beer on that list…as you well know from your summer visits. We not only have Pinots that challenge the world, but micro beers that challenges our Pinots. If our micros competed at the Olympics, we would get a brew-ribbon made of gold. Since Austin, Texas doesn’t like it that Portland, Oregon claims the slogan “Keep Portland Weird”…we have changed the slogan to, “Keep Portland Beered.”

You're right. Beer is just one of the reasons - but a very good one - that Oregon is my idea of heaven on earth.
KC's View: