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The Canadian Press reports that Sears Canada is going to try to compensate for "store closures and sagging sales" by venturing "into the grocery business in an effort to lure shoppers."

According to the story, Sears Canada has signed a deal with two as-yet unnamed specialty supermarket companies "to run food markets at some of its revamped locations."

The Press writes that Sears Canada "declined to provide further details. But executive chairman Brandon G. Stranzl said he is confident the agreement will bring customers to Sears more frequently. 'A grocery store, you might go to two or three times a week,' Stranzl said in an interview. 'A department store you might go to once a month ... once a quarter or something'."

Sears Holdings, the US company controlled by Edward Lampert, owns about 11 percent of Sears Canada.
KC's View:
Yikes.

Now, let me be clear. I cannot remember ever having been in a Sears Canada store. (Obviously I've been to them in the US. They've mostly been memorable for all the wrong reasons ... though I did have a good experience buying a snow blower in one several years ago.) So I'm basing some of this on guesswork, which isn;t entirely fair. (That said, it sounds like Sears Canada has a lot of the same sales and profit issues as Sears in the US.)

But I have to point out that the conclusion that food drives traffic is one that Walmart reached three decades ago. Hell, Kmart reached that conclusion three decades ago. (I remember going to those first supercenters, and the irony is that Kmart's was better than Walmart's. The difference is that Walmart kept learning and growing and getting better, and Kmart was...well, it was Kmart.)

Everything I know about Sears makes me wonder why any supermarket retailer in his or her right mind would want to get into business with them ... because it is hard to imagine that this little foray will do anything to burnish anyone's reputation in the long run.