Sears Starts Black Friday Early, On Wrong Day

This Saturday, on Halloween, Sears is launching a campaign called “Black Friday Now,” with “doorbuster” deals on Christmas trees, work boots, diamond-stud earrings and other select items. The deals will take place every Saturday until Christmas.

The retailer is saying that the move is a response to customers wanting deep-discount deals before the traditional Black Friday, which falls on the day after Thanksgiving. But we’re thinking it’s more of a move to combat Sears’ dismal sales results.

Either way, the whole thing is weird. Marketing Black Friday sales this early is one thing, but having them on a completely different day is just confusing. Why not “Saturday Specials” or “Saturday Sales” or something that at least recognizes the correct day of the week?

This doesn’t really surprise us coming from Sears, though. We’ve seen some pretty strange things come out of this company recently, like its Good News Now media site in partnership with AOL.

But maybe there’s a good side to “Black Friday Now?” The actual Black Friday is a totally insane event highlighted by mobs and even the occasional death. Is Sears on to something spacing these deals out or will it end up as a failed experiment?

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4 Responses to “Sears Starts Black Friday Early, On Wrong Day”


  1. 1 Alex October 30, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Not sure who here has a finance background, but even if not, read Sears’ financial statements and earnings releases (or comments about them). Their management is using their cash to repurchase shares, and no one is buying their goods. They cant compete on a price basis since Wal-Mart already has that niche locked up, and they cant compete on a quality basis since Macy’s already has that locked up. Their Kmart/Sears neighborhood stores are also bad since they’re competing on price – as i said Wal-Mart will beat them like an angry grandma. As for tools, im going to Lowe’s or Home Depot. For electronics im going to Best Buy. The ONLY reason i would EVER step foot in a sears is to get their appliances, but now other stores are encroaching on this segment since its high margin / high profit, so the only good thing Sears has is these brand names. On the plus side they are sitting on tons of cash so basically it’ll be like watching a sink ship over a long, long time. they are doomed a very slow, and very painful bankruptcy, unless Eddie changes things or shifts strategy. They honestly have no strategy and need to find their clear niche.

  2. 2 greendiamond October 30, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Perhaps compounding the problems at Sears is thier credit card issuer. Revolving interest rates have shot up to 27% and I’m sure even higher for cardholders with marginal credit scores. Sears followed with their own notice stating that any complaints should be directed to the credit issuer. This is insulting and I have no plans to visit Sears much less make any major purchase regardless of the “Black Friday discount.”

  3. 3 BIGMallrat October 30, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Does Sears’ Annual Report state why they are repurchasing shares? Yahoo Finance current shows their earnings per share at -20 cents. I could see why they ought to repurchase shares to increase the earnings available to stockholders. Of course, Sears could just keep the shares or sell them as treasury stock to bring in more money for investment.
    A company sitting on a lot of cash isn’t necessarily a bad strategy given a business cycle. Lots of cash means you don’t loose anything, however, it also means you don’t make anything. Companies sometimes keep a lot of cash for future acquisitions. Again, the Annual Report ought to state managements’ reasons for holding on to that cash.
    I think the scary part is Sears’ significant drop in Net Income. They went from $1,490,000,000 in February 2007 to $53,000,000 in January 2009. To investors, that means Sears is a poor investment.
    Scott

  4. 4 Dunkin'man November 2, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Just Like Montgomery Ward, Circut City et al
    they don’t know who they are or what their niche may be.

    I agree with Alex, it’s a long slow painful death.

    Start selling the excess real estate and close the Seras Essentials stores, and try and find a niche. Ugly plaid jackets are back “in”!


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