Sears in new partnership with Amazon
Sears Holdings Corp. is taking its relationship with Amazon to a new level.
The department store retailer said that Sears Auto Centers will offer full-service tire installation and balancing for customers who purchase any brand of tires on Amazon.com. The service initially launched at 47 Sears Auto Centers in eight metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and New York. It will be rolled out to all 400 plus Sears Auto Centers nationwide during the coming weeks.
The deal is seen as a win-win for both retailers. It gives beleaguered Sears a new revenue stream and gives Amazon a way to serve up in-store services even though it lacks a national network of physical retail.
The partnership reflects the growing relationship between Sears and Amazon, which started when Sears began selling its Kenmore appliances on Amazon in July 2017. The brand is now distributed nationally on Amazon with over 250 products. And since December, select products from Sears’ DieHard brand have been sold on Amazon.com, with the lineup steadily expanding.
The collaboration means that Sears Auto will become the first nationwide auto service center to offer Amazon customers the ship-to-store tire solution integrated into the online retailer’s checkout process. To take advantage of the service, Amazon customers select their tires, the Sears Auto location and their preferred date and time for the tire installation. Sears will then contact the customer to confirm the appointment.
In addition, as part of the deal and for the first time, Sears’ DieHard all-season passenger tires will be sold on Amazon.
Sears has been a retail disaster. Not changing with retail trends and for the most part poor custom service. It’s a last ditch effort to stay relevant as Sears sells off it’s real estate. Most retailers buying tires want to come into physical stores to make their selection. Sears should move into hosting different retail stores under their umbrella like Fred Segal’s model, and let Amazon struggle for a physical presence. Michael Sapir, CEO, Sapir Real Estate Development.
H&M reportedly taps technology to solve inventory problem
H&M is looking beyond markdowns to deplete its excess inventory, and offer more customized assortments.
By leveraging data in news ways, H&M expects to stay ahead of trends, as well as customize the selection and price of products in its stores, according to Business Insider, which cited the Wall Street Journal.
For example, the retailer is leveraging image recognition tools to analyze social media and fashion blogs for new styles and trends. This information will then be used to form its collections, Business Insider said.
In addition, H&M will use analytics to track what merchandise is bought and returned to each store to determine what resonates well with local customers. This will help the company customize its store assortments to ensure that it is stocking exactly what its customers want, according to the report.
The technologies are being tested in one Stockholm store. The processes helped cut the location’s total number of items by 40%, and replaced men’s, women’s, and children’s basics with more expensive items, the report said.
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