Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hayley Peterson — Sears says there's ‘substantial doubt’ it can stay in business

Remember Sears and Roebuck's competitor Montgomery Ward? Looks like Sears is following the same path.

Monkey Ward is still around, you say?
After its demise, the familiarity of its brand meant its name, corporate logo, and advertising were still considered valuable intangible assets. In 2004, catalog marketer Direct Marketing Services Inc. (DMSI), an Iowa-based direct marketing company, purchased much of the intellectual property assets of the former Wards, including the "Montgomery Ward" and "Wards" trademarks, for an undisclosed amount of money.[30]
DMSI applied the brand to a new online and catalog-based retailing operation, with no physical stores, headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. DMSI then began operating under the Montgomery Ward branding and managed to get it up and running in three months. The new firm began operations in June 2004, selling essentially the same categories of products as the former brand, but as a new, smaller catalog.
The DMSI version of Montgomery Ward was not the same company as the original. The company did not honor obligations of the previous company, such as gift cards and items sold with a lifetime guarantee. David Milgrom, then president of the firm, said in an interview with the Associated Press: "We're rebuilding the brand, and we want to do it right."
In July 2008, DMSI announced it was on the auction block, with sale scheduled for the following month. Catalog retailer Swiss Colony purchased DMSI August 5, 2008. Swiss Colony—which changed its name to Colony Brands Inc. on June 1, 2010—announced it would keep the Montgomery Ward catalog division open. The website launched September 10, 2008, with new catalogs mailing in February 2009. A month before the catalog's launch, Swiss Colony President John Baumann told United Press International the retailer might also resurrect Montgomery Ward's Signature and Powr-Kraft store brands. To augment its vast selection, Montgomery Ward started promoting several exclusive new brands in July 2012 in its Early Fall 2012 catalog and on its website, including Devonshire Collection, Apothecarie Collection and Elysian Forest Collection furniture, Chef Tested kitchen products, Comfort Creek towels and sheets, Freshica shoes, Sleep Connection bedding, and Color Connection window treatments.

Just the skeleton remains.

Will Sears meet a similar fate?

Business Insider
Sears says there's ‘substantial doubt’ it can stay in business
Hayley Peterson


Matt Franko said...

Bank loans and leases continuing to take the hit...

Ryan Harris said...

Jack Ma should buy Sears brand and make the domain name redirect to Alibaba.

That would be epic.

Tom Hickey said...

Ha ha. Love it. But Bezos is just as likely to buy it up "to keep it American."

Matt Franko said...

I believe they already sold the Craftsman brand for 900M ... not too shabby... they might still have Kenmore, Die Hard, etc...

GLH said...

Is Sears still in business?

Tom Hickey said...

Is Sears still in business?

Hanging on while closing stores and selling brands.