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Sears Sees Double-Digit Sales Increase
Has Begun Accepting Plaza Card, Expects Strong Back-To-School Sales
By TAINA ROSA
August 7, 2003
The holiday weekend ending July 28 saw traffic and sales at Sears Roebuck & Co. beat those of the same period last year by slightly more than 10%, said Gary Salvatore, president of local operations. He also said the Puerto Rico district with 10 storesenjoyed the best overall performance of the entire 63 districts in the nation in 2002. As a result of such success, he does not dismiss the possibility of Sears opening more stores locally.
Salvatore explained sales have been increasing in the past few months and Mothers Day was excellent. "Sales were significantly higher than last year during Mothers Day and the recent holiday weekend as well.
"Puerto Rico has been among the top performing districts for many years and, right now, we are having a very positive year," said Salvatore, who noted the chain has seen the highest sales increases in the home furniture & appliances and cosmetics departments.
"This is a result of all our efforts to redesign the departments and improve merchandise selection. We have also been strengthening our marketing campaigns and have not cut back on advertising. In fact, we have just renegotiated a contract with ad agency De la Cruz," he added.
Things are bound to get even better as Sears has joined other stores at Plaza Las Americas in accepting the Plaza Card, a gift card launched by the malls management, just in time for back-to-school season. "Customers had been asking us to accept this card for some time and this demand will help increase sales," said Salvatore. The store at Plaza Las Americas is the top-performing store in the chain, he added.
But besides being the top-performing district, Puerto Rico also accounts for one of the highest credit penetration markets in the chain. In addition, it is also the district enjoying the highest customer satisfaction in the chain, according to Salvatore. In reference to opening more Sears stores on the island, he said "It depends on real-estate opportunities. Were just looking at the moment."
Salvatore said the key to Sears success locally has been its effort to adapt to the local market and local consumers tastes. "This is very important if a business is to be successful in such a competitive market as this one."
Sears local operations had gross sales of $400 million in 2001 and employ more than 2,400 associates. The company has more than 800 stores nationwide.
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.