Niagara Gazette

Columns

August 6, 2013

CONFER: Jaclyn Smith is part of what's killing Kmart

Niagara Gazette — Sears Holding Corporation — the multinational formed by the 2005 marriage of Sears and Kmart — continues to prove itself unworthy to investors and shoppers alike.

The company’s stock price has dropped to just below $43 a share after having peaked at nearly $67 in November. Since 2005, SHC’s earnings have fallen from $49.1 billion to $39.9 billion — a 19 percent drop that was entirely unexpected because the Great Recession should have driven cost-conscious shoppers to Kmart in droves. In comparison, Walmart’s revenues increased by a whopping 42 percent over that same period.

Things have been so bad that 2011’s abysmal holiday sales called for closure of 120 stores last year. For that season, Kmart saw its sales drop by 4.4 percent, Sears by 6 percent. In stark contrast to that performance, the rest of the retail industry actually saw their Christmas sales rise by 5.6 percent.

So, why can’t SHC, a conglomerate possessed of two once-beloved chains, hang with the Walmarts, Targets, and Home Depots of the world?

The answer: Look no further than Jaclyn Smith.

Last week while shopping at the Wellsville Kmart I was startled to see that the face and name of the one-time Charlie’s Angels star were gracing the home products and apparel aisles. Nothing against the ageless beauty, but her ship sailed long ago. Her peak of celebrity was in the late 1970s and her fame has been spotty at best in the past three decades.

It’s awfully odd that an array of supposed advertising geniuses led by Chariman/CEO Edward Lampbert — who has a net worth of more than $3 billion and should know better — would build a major marketing campaign around someone who carries no meaning to anyone under the age of 45.

Sure, Baby Boomers and the oldest of Generation X (who all once fawned over Smith) may represent a large portion of Kmart shoppers, but young families and the prized 18 to 35 demographic — who represent the economy’s biggest and most-desired spenders — have no idea who she is. So, why would they feel compelled to buy anything that she endorses within the store? Any mass merchandiser that misses that crucial target audience – especially as badly as this — can count itself dead in the water.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Spring tune up and summer prep for your car The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: New York still delays decision on hydrofracking Many people across the state remain puzzled why the decision to allow hydrofracking has been delayed for so long.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: To every thing there is a season; this is OURS I'm not sure what The Byrds had in mind way back in 1965 when they popularized Pete Seeger's 1950s rendition of Ecclesiastes 3, but I am inclined to agree with novelist Thomas Wolfe who wrote: "[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth."

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Property rights and the Clean Water Act The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights, succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, inside and out When I had a couple of questions I checked in with Whitney Mallam, a long-time church member who introduced me to Solon Myron Napoleon Whitney (commonly known as "The Major"), one of his relatives from the early days of this church's history. I was intrigued by some of Whit's comments and hope to learn more about him in the future.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page