Can former Loblaws Cos. executive Calvin McDonald make Sears Canada desirable?
Sears Canada is a company rife with image problems, and the brand knows it: in line to save the company from becoming the next Simpsons and Eaton’s is Calvin McDonald, a strapping 40-year-old former Loblaws Cos. executive and Sears Canada’s new CEO. As department store big spenders, like Holt Renfrew and The Bay, throw wads of cash around for parties and new environments (the modern floors at Holts, the Room reno at The Bay), Sears has kept quiet, with losses continuing steadily since 2006 (of course, presumably in a moment of weakness, it did hire Jay Manuel). According to an interview with the Financial Post, McDonald has a three-year plan that involves spending money to make money. There’s no official statement on what the estimated dollar value will be, but changes need to be made swiftly and effectively, considering that between 2006 and 2011, Sears Canada lost $1 billion in revenue. Although McDonald has held his position for only six months, he has already taken measures to make Sears Canada more customer-friendly: for example, he’s begun decluttering stores to make the “great items” easier to find. This is a slow, upward battle, but we have three years to find out if one 40-something can turn the mecca of aggressive markdowns into a Bay and Holt’s contender.