September 4, 2009

Special Report: Sears Grand, Viable Concept Gone To Waste?

(Editors Note: Kmart World toured the Las Vegas Sears Grand in 2016, click here to check it out.)

Sears Grand is one of countless concepts rolled out by Sears Holdings, but one that had great potential. Back in 2003 the first Sears Grand store opened in West Jordan, Utah, followed by 4 other locations, including one in Las Vegas, NV. The Review Journal has an article about Sears Grand and the Las Vegas location. In the article Sears Vice President, speaking of the Sears Grand concept said "This offers us an off-mall growth opportunity." A few years later that opportunity turned out to be Kmart and the Sears Grand concept was all but abandoned.

(Image courtesy of Unknown Location

(Image courtesy of Unknown) West Jordan, Utah

So here we are in 2009, Sears and Kmart are both struggling and still trying new concepts (mygofer anyone?) to little success. What if Sears would have went with Sears Grand and rolled it out nationwide? Would things be different for Sears Holdings today?

(Image courtesy of Las Vegas, NV

One thing to remember is that the Sears Grand concept was developed and opened just before the Sears-Kmart merger. Sears Grand was the brain child of the then CEO of Sears. Once Kmart purchased Sears and Eddie Lampert began his rein of the companies, all previous concepts and ideas pretty much died in their current form. What Lampert did was a cheap remodel of some Kmart locations into Sears Essentials, Lampert later dumped the Essentials and renamed them all Sears Grand. Unfortunately those Sears Grands were just Kmart's with an expanded assortment of Sears items in a cheaply remodeled store.

(Image courtesy of AP) West Jordan, Utah

The thing is the original Sears Grands were pretty much a hybrid of a Sears and Kmart store. They weren't a Kmart with a few Sears items thrown in though. They were a from-the-ground-up new store. Below you will find the Sears Grand Fact Sheet, that will give you an idea of what to expect at one of the few original locations.

Sears Grand is a one-stop home and family solution center that delivers a mix of quality products such as Sears' proprietary and national brands that no other store provides. Everything busy people need to maintain their homes and keep their family on-the-go can conveniently be found here, under one roof.

Sears Grand is a one-level store that carries everything from milk to refrigerators, bathing suits to sun block and car seats to baby food. Sears Grand offers the best of what Sears is known for – appliances, lawn and garden supplies, electronics, tools, automotive products and services, sporting goods, apparel and hardware – with an innovative mix of convenience-inspired items - health and beauty products, greeting cards, dry grocery, pet food and magazines.

Sears Grand offers a mix of quality brands that no other retailer offers, such as Kenmore, Craftsman, Lands’ End, Die Hard, as well as Nike, CoverGirl, GE, Levis, Sony, Carters, Huggies, Apostrophe, KitchenAid and more.

Sears Grand’s unique product and service offerings enable multi-tasking families to efficiently manage their busy lives and households. Sears Grand product categories include: apparel, appliances, lawn and garden, plant nursery (in some stores), sporting goods, toys, baby care, cleaning supplies, mattresses, home/seasonal décor, pantry items, pet food, cards and party supplies, books, magazines and electronics (TVs, CDs, DVDs, games).

Shoppers also will find an array of convenient services at Sears Grand including: an auto center, custom paint mixing, window blind cutting and key cutting.

Shopping Experience:
The Sears Grand concept was created based on what customers want and need. The one-level store is brightly lit with wide, uncluttered aisles and easy checkout lanes at the exit. A racetrack format combined with colorful, bilingual signage make it easy for customers to navigate the 165,000 to 210,000 sq. foot stores easily. Additionally, price verifiers throughout the store enable customers to easily identify the price on any product or call for assistance if needed.

To make the shopping experience even more convenient and fun, Sears Grand features shopping carts that have a kid-friendly racecar theme and are equipped with cup holders for mom and dad. The stores also feature convenient services and a café where busy families can grab a bite to eat. 

(Image courtesy of Salt Lake Tribune) West Jordan, Utah

Special thanks to Erica n Juan on Flickr for the three photos below. This is the Sears Grand in Austin, TX.

So there you have it- Sears Grand, a viable concept gone to waste?

What do you think, did Eddie Lampert make a mistake by not continuing the expansion of Sears Grand, or was it just another disposable concept?