Why Sears’s Mygofer concept failed to connect with shoppers

JOLIET, Ill. — When Sears Holdings Corp. opened a test store in 2009 called Mygofer in this working-class city 45 miles southwest of Chicago, it billed it as a revolutionary combination, one that would meld the convenience of the Internet with the instant gratification of a bricks-and-mortar store.

Sears chief Edward Lampert has characterized the Mygofer idea as having been ahead of its time.

The company
 gutted an 80,000-square-foot Kmart—but enticing rows of clothes and electronics wasn’t part of the plan. The idea of Mygofer was to have shoppers place their orders at computers at the front of the store, then pick up their goods at a delivery bay out back.

Sears’s chief executive, Edward Lampert, who was chairman at the time, hoped to roll out hundreds of the stores if the experiment succeeded.

But in the four years it was open, Mygofer notched an unusual distinction: On some days, more people returned goods than bought them.

Shoppers were thrown by the format. “You couldn’t see and touch things,” recalls Joyce Honkisz, a retiree who visited the store once but didn’t buy anything.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

View more information: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-searss-mygofer-concept-failed-to-connect-with-shoppers-2014-12-17

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