The flagship of the retail trade in North America in the 1980s and 1990s, Sears puts the key under the door in Canada. For more than sixty-four years, Canadians have bought everything they need, whether clothing, jewelry, household appliances, bedding, cosmetics, etc., But, with an annual turnover, which fell from $ 6.2 billion canadian dollars (4.12 billion euros) to 2.6 billion between 2004 and 2016, the retailer had no other choice than to seek justice the liquidation, the 13th of October. A bankruptcy that results in the dismissal of more than 12,000 employees throughout the country and the closure of 130 stores.
The competition of online commerce, with sites like Amazon, of course, a blow to the string. According to Statistics Canada, in 2016, the Canadians have spent, every month, more than 44 billion to retailers. Internet sales accounted for approximately 2 % of this amount. Even if the share of online purchases is still relatively low, they are growing at a rate of about 15 % per year, while sales at the physical stores do not rise, at the same time, only 3 %.
But this is not Amazon who has killed Sears. With a large network of distribution warehouses throughout the country, a wide range of products (more than 10,000 in its catalog, found in all homes) and a cutting-edge technology, Sears would have been able to be the Amazon of its time.
The company collapsed because its leaders have not invested enough to help it to adapt to new modes of consumption. A Globe and Mail article published on October 21, explains that the main shareholder of the retailer, ESL Investments, owned by the boss of Sears Holdings, Eddie Lampert, has preferred to pay out dividends rather than invest in the canadian subsidiary. In fact,…