TORONTO – Sears Canada has unveiled a fresh logo, which the troubled national retailer described as a new look that represents “the most recent development in a series of strategic initiatives to re-invigorate and revitalise Sears Canada across all lines of business from e-commerce to in-store experiences and from merchandise selection and curation to marketing communications.”
The publicly-held, multi-channel retailer noted this is the most dramatic transformation of the logo in 32 years and features the word SEARS in a timeless font with what it describes a “fresh take on the maple leaf, signaling redefined modern era for the brand.”
“We are proud to unveil this symbol of re-invention for Sears Canada,” Brandon G. Stranzl, executive chairman said in a statement. “Sears is changing, and our new logo asserts the modern and streamlined image and consumer experience for which we are striving in-store and online.”
The logo made its first public appearance at stores in two Ontario cities that were renovated earlier this summer – the Promenade Mall in Thornhill and the Mapleview Centre in Burlington.
These two stores are the prototype for what the company is calling Sears 2.0, an effort to re-engineer the Sears shopping experience while making the physical stores more productive with a more flexible layout.
Canadians should also see an improved online shopping experience resulting over the coming months, thanks to significant e-commerce enhancements as well as the introduction of new name brand fashion lines boasting both quality and affordable prices.
The company, which employs more than 17,000 Canadians with 154 corporate stores and 106 Hometown stores nationwide, said it is committed to evolving and modernising its business model in order to better compete in Canada's fiercely competitive retail landscape.
It also reported Ontario and Alberta residents will see the new logo appear during store renovation projects and the pilot testing of the new e-commerce site this summer. Canadians across the country can expect to see the new logo later in the fall, when the web site is rolled out nationwide and on newly designed shopping bags, catalogues, and retail store flyers.
However, the new logo wasn’t universally praised. Josh Kolm, a marketing reporter for Strategy, said in a tweet: “The new Sears (Canada) logo: because being boring is better than being ugly.”
Speaking to the Financial Post, Alan Middleton, a professor at Schulich School of Business at York University, said the new logo reflects Sears Canada’s current objectives including its desire to grab a sizeable piece of online retail market in this country while reducing its dependency on its physical stores and shore-up its credibility as a streamlined business.
“I will give Sears Canada 10/10 for the re-invention effort they are putting in,” Middleton was quoted as saying. “They’re coming from a long way behind with ever strong competition from The Bay, Walmart and most importantly the omni-retailers like Amazon and Alibaba.”
The new logo is the fourth significant re-design it has undergone since the company was founded in 1953 and the first since it was renamed Sears Canada in 1984. The company sales and earnings have struggled in recent years, falling by half over the decade the ended with its last fiscal year. However, it is still a major player in the retailing of furniture, mattresses and major appliances with a significant market share in each of these categories.