Sears Holdings Corporation's (NASDAQ: SHLD) storied and failed strategy in the last few years under the auspices of investor Eddie Lampert just keeps chugging along. Lampert thought he could turn Sears Holdings into an investment company that happened to have a retail operation attached. Didn't happen.
But, that does not mean Sears is giving up the ghost. The retailer everyone loves to dog as stodgy and out of touch is getting back into one business where it was decades ago: toys. That's right -- and just in time for the 2009 holiday season. Question: will anyone go out of their way to shop at Sears for toys? Is there a compelling reason with so many other quality choices?
Sears must be looking to gain some incremental holiday sales here. Discounters like Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) -- not to mention leading toy retailers -- are making competition for holiday dollars as fierce as it's ever been. So, it makes perfect sense for Sears to unveil toy sections in its stores sometime around August 15th. Yes, that's a joke.
An entire generation of toy shoppers who have never shopped at Sears for toys are somehow going to be summoned there? It won't be national at first -- Sears locations in San Francisco, Chicago and New York metro will be the first lucky recipients of in-store toy sales. Well, in-store toy displays -- it's hard to see Sears turning into anything close to a semi-powerhouse in toys for the rest of 2009 or beyond.