Before I left Mary Baldwin for the Summer I filled out one of those “tell us what you think” pamphlets Starbucks always has siting around. I wrote that I was disappointed that the store was closing. I received this letter last week:
September 27, 2009
September 10, 2009
Here’s what bothers him about Lampert’s management of the once fabled retailer:
- Lack of investment in stores. “The stores are terrible; they don’t look any better than they did five years ago. In fact, they look worse.” Matthews notes Wal-Mart spends tens of billions a year on stores, while Sears is spending about $200 million. That’s no way to compete.
- No retail expert at the helm. For more than 18 months, Sears has had an “interim” CEO, Matthews notes. Until they hire someone more permanent with retail know-how they’re doomed, he says. “I kept waiting for five years: when is he going to hire the guy? Never happened.”