Reports of Sears Demise Might be Premature

Sears_Appliances.jpgTWICE, the publication of record for the consumer electronics industry, likes to crunch sales data and publish top retailers in a variety of different verticals. Last week they got around to major appliance retailers and I was surprised to see how the top ten broke down:

Sears, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Best Buy, h.h. gregg, Walmart, P. C. Richard & Son, BrandsMart USA, Conn’s and Target.

It’s no surprise that Lowe’s and Home Depot are both in the top three but a company that’s a powerhouse in consumer electronics is barely in the top 20: But Sears? At #1? In fact, Sears had $7.15 billion in sales last year across only 852 stores. That puts them at $83 million/store. At number two, Lowe’s sold $5.2 billion against 1715 stores, a far, far lower average of only $3.0 millon/store. Home Depot’s number drops even further, with an average of only $1.8 million / store.

Get down to Amazon and, of course, the per-store sales are different because they’re an online-only company, but across the entire business, they sold $89 million in appliances. That’s a long journey up to topple Sears. In fact, it’s only barely better than any individual Sears store, and there are 852 stores.

Perhaps the other surprise on the list is Best Buy. Within the top five, and their primary branding is for consumer electronics and entertainment. In fact, my most recent visit to a Best Buy revealed a tiny line of major appliances, but apparently enough to generate $1.8 billion in sales in 2012.

I bought my last major appliances at Home Depot. How about you, where do your majaps – major appliances – come from?

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