Sears is Trying to Be Cool But is It Too Late?

The new pop-up shop is supposed to showcase the new Sears and attract younger customers. But let’s be real if our moms aren’t shopping at Sears anymore, what are the chances that we will want to?

If you found yourself in downtown Toronto this weekend, you may have seen a cool trendy pop up at 322 1/2 Queen Street West. The space houses millennial-friendly product and focuses on a young shopper. The catch? It’s actually a Sears pop-up shop. The weird part is that the pop-up shop has very little, if any, Sears branding. The shop is titled “Experience Change” and is designed to look nothing like Sears. The brand is trying to shed its old-school image and believes that this pop-up shop is the first step in that direction.  Remember, Sears recently announced that it will be closing 59 stores, and releasing thousands of employees.

Inside the Sears Queen West pop-up (Image: Amanda Phuong)

Overall it’s an interesting time to try to rebrand, right in the middle of downsizing. At the very least, Sears has been constantly in the news for the last weeks, so for the first time in a long time, people are talking about Sears.

However, although there has been all this talk about Sears, and the brand is making a strong effort to rebrand, industry insiders point out that it’s just too late.

CBC ran an interesting article on the same subject and highlighted a very important quote fro retail analyst John Williams. “When the ship hits an iceberg and is sinking, rearranging the menu in the dining room is not the [solution],” says Mr. Williams. “It’s too little, too late.”

The aforementioned new pop-up shop is supposed to showcase the new Sears and attract younger customers. But let’s be real, if our moms aren’t shopping at Sears anymore, what are the chances that we will want to? Sears has done very little to appeal to the new generation, and now that even boomers aren’t shopping at Sears it’s unlikely that they will ever revive what was once a retail powerhouse.  If you visit the store, there’s actually a sign that reads: “It’s Never Too Late To Get Your____ Together”. For Sears, maybe it is though…

The neon sign that hangs inside the Sears pop-up (Image: Amanda Phuong)