Sears, which has been struggling financially due to falling sales, is opening a store that will be dedicated solely to the sale of appliances.
The retailer says that the 10,000 square foot store opening in Ft. Collins, Colorado on May 19th will be its first solely featuring appliances, the product category that has been one of its core businesses. .
“Appliances is one of our best categories,’’ said Leena Munjal. senior vice president, customer experience and integrated retail, for Sears Holdings. “We’re trying to figure out how you take the physical store and complement it with the online capability to make it a really powerful experience for our customers.’’
I see the same thing now at Best Buy, with workout equipment and other oddball products. I told my son on a visit a year ago to Best Buy to expect to see the a larger appliance selection next time we visit. He asked why, and I said "because Wal-Mart does not generally sell them, and not a lot of people buy their large appliances at Amazon." Sure enough, you see more appliances nowadays.
But it probably was no accident that the article was illustrated with this picture:
What don't you see there? CD's, DVD's, speakers, DVD players, computer games and most of the other stuff that used to make up a lot of Best Buy's floor space. Because they have already been demolished by online retailers in those categories. The picture above is of appliances, one of the few high dollar categories that has not migrated to the web. Go to Best Buy and you will see appliances, health equipment, and TV's, all categories where bricks and mortar stores have some advantages over online.
This makes perfect sense, but don't tell me Best Buy is ready to take on the online retailers. They are bobbing and weaving, ducking this competition wherever they can.
I wrote specifically about the Sears appliance business here