Sears Starts Black Friday Early To Attract Shoppers

In the midst of stagnant sales and more than 300 stores closing, Sears is attempting a month-long Black Friday event to get shoppers through the door.

Every item in the store is on sale between 10 to 50 percent off through Thanksgiving weekend, according to Business Insider. In Kmart, a Sears subsidiary, every item is 10 to 40 percent off. In a statement, Sears said the early sale would help shoppers get a head start on Christmas shopping and avoid the rush of Black Friday itself.

The company also announced that it would bring back the historical Wish Book catalogue for the first time in six years, according to CNBC. Kelly Cook, Sears and Kmart chief marketing officer, said in a statement, “Our members told us they missed the Wish Book, so we had to bring it back, but in a special way that lets you share more joy wherever you are.”

The 120-page book will include all the traditional positive quotes and gift ideas found in previous editions, including everything from clothes to holiday decorations to games for children. In addition, the company will release a digital version available on the Sears website.

The Wish Book was first printed in 1933, and remained a highlight of Americana until its decline in the 80s and 90s, according to the Los Angeles Times. For decades, the book was credited with connecting rural Americans, who didn’t have access to department stores or malls, to the most recent trends and technologies. Sears discontinued printing the catalogue in 2011 after costs became too prohibitive.

Sears has been experiencing steep financial losses in recent months. In October, the company had to turn to CEO Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund for a cash injection three times, according to CNBC. Over the past two years, his hedge fund has been used to provide the company with more than $2 billion in funding. Business analysts say the company is in a death spiral, according to the Chicago Tribune. Also in October, the company announced that it would no longer sell Whirpool appliances, including Maytag and Kitchen Aid products.

In August, after posting double-digit losses for its third quarter, the company announced that it would close nearly 30 Kmart stores in addition to the 330 stores that have closed or are slated to close this year.

Khuram Aziz
Khurram Aziz is a freelance writer based out of London, England.