A Year-End Look at Retail - Page 5

By Evan Schuman  |  Posted 2004-11-25 Print this article Print

Look to 2005 for the heavy-duty industry consolidation, but late 2004 gave us a good taste of whats coming when Kmart and Sears were mooshed together. Industry skeptics dismissed the move as the merger of the mediocre, pointing to marketing as well as technology problems suffered by both sides. There were even cynical suggestions that the merger was more about real-estate than inventory or technology. OK, we were among the cynical people saying those things. But its hard to see anything that initially suggests that this combination is going to be able to move faster or make better decisions than the pair did before. Yes, theyll have more revenue initially, but its hard to see how that will help. First, Wal-Mart will still be larger and, therefore, will have the advantage in being able to negotiate better rates. But more importantly, Wal-Marts strategic efforts are what fuels it, and Sears/Kmart has shown no sign of improving there. But Im confident that by the time I write this column late in 2005, Ill have more definitive answers. Heres a short list of stories on how Industry Consolidation influenced the retail scene:
  • Where America Shops Meets Where American Shoplifts
  • Sears, Kmart Merger to Create Huge Retail Operation

    Retail Center Editor Evan Schuman can be reached at Evan_Schuman@ziffdavis.com.
    To read earlier retail technology opinion columns, please click here. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on technologys impact on retail.

    Evan Schuman is the editor of CIOInsight.com's Retail industry center. He has covered retail technology issues since 1988 for Ziff-Davis, CMP Media, IDG, Penton, Lebhar-Friedman, VNU, BusinessWeek, Business 2.0 and United Press International, among others. He can be reached by e-mail at Evan.Schuman@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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