|The Sears from afar. Looks so old-timey, but I like the change. Too bad it's in a visibly struggling mall.|
Looking at the picture, one of the first things you may notice is the logo. IMHO, it gives off vibes of historic department stores' downtown locations, which brings us to what makes it special. Sears execs decided to use the mall store as a new store design: a showroom-type feel.
|And Sears from up close. I like the front, not as blocky and doesn't scream 80's mall. Gwinnett Place is from 1984.|
What came with the store design was a more modern look, better lighting, modern displays, more upscale goods, snacks at checkout, and an open floorplan. This was easily visible during my visit to the mall.
|Nice atrium in the center of the store. Remember "Softer Side of Sears"?|
This Sears is, so far, completely unique. It has been one of the more successful Sears in GA from what I've heard, and I feel like more of these would help the company stay around a bit longer. I feel as if the improvements help the store sell more goods. The furniture areas are built like a Rooms To Go, as products are arranged to show what, say, a couch will look like in your living room. A "customer solution center" is located in the middle, helping customers get to sears.com and other useful advice. Expanded display areas for brands help them sell more clothing. The store itself feels more upscale, and what they sell there is more upscale (doesn't sell quad-digit dresses, but the products are more Macy's than JCP, for example).
|A quick picture of the outdoor furniture section.|
The "Duluth" model, as it's called, may finally be the solution to getting traffic to underperforming stores in struggling malls. More Sears traffic means more mall traffic, helping the other stores. I'm not saying it's the immortal mall key, but it would help. Maybe I'm just getting ahead of myself.