The Strategies Of Sears & Roebuck Co Over Hundred Yeas Ago Should Be Remembered
More than a hundred years ago Sears started off as a mail-order catalog company. People who lived in rural areas really did not have stores to meet their needs but they did have Sears' catalog. They could purchase everything from clothing, furniture, and items for do-it-yourself projects. Since then, Sears has stores in hundreds of cities and urban areas. Before Amazon, Americans and Canadians were shopping at Sears.
For many decades, the Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world and housed the headquarters of the company. Long before Walmart, Sears was offering their customers low prices, providing their employees with decent salaries, and a place where consumers could buy anything. As they grew, you could go to Sears and to have maintenance performed on your car or purchase new tires.
At one time you could even buy a home through Sears & Roebuck Co. Consumers would pick out their home of choice and Sears would deliver it to them! You might think they were cheap and poor quality homes. On the contrary, they were constructed with the finest materials available at the time, had wood floors, cypress siding, a cedar shingles. It would be really tough to find one today that has been well maintained. These homes are easily 80 years old and were available from 1908 to 1940. Literally, 70,000 to 75,000 homeowners lived in these homes.
Sears created 447 different types of home to fit everyone's taste. The Cape Code and Craftsman are just two of their many designs. They offered custom homes that met individual's budget and size. Due to the high volume of sales, Sears was able to keep the costs down. This made them extremely competitive in the housing market. They were the first mass builders to use a “balloon” style frame that only required one carpenter on the site. Also they provided drywall for walls, asphalt shingles for the roof, and central heating. These advanced materials were less expensive to build with and were safer to live in.
Through smart marketing, Sears & Roebuck's only competition in mail-order catalogs was Montgomery Ward. Sears designed their catalog to be narrower and shorter than Montgomery Ward's. This allowed the consumer to place their catalog on top of the Montgomery Ward catalog when placed on a table.
Sears also promised the lowest prices which left many merchants up in arms. They providing merchandise that cut out the middleman and never altered. Store owners started offering kids free passes to movies for every Sears catalog they brought to them. They'd collect a huge pile of the catalogs and then set them on fire!
In the late 1800s, the Sears catalog gave consumers what e-commerce sites are providing today by moving consumers away from local brick and mortar stores.
Sears was literally distributing their entire store into the living rooms of American middle-class whose shopping habits were 60% of the population in rural America. You could say that Sears & Roebuck was Amazon before Amazon.
The Sears & Roebuck Co. mail-order catalog was the ultimate marketplace and is pretty much how Amazon operates in this day and age.
When it came to making merchandise decisions, store managers ordered the products and quantities that fit their local consumers' needs and preferences. This led to their marketing genius and their competitive edge.