Sears Core Competencies

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Running head: SEARS CORE COMPETENCIES EXAMINED

Sears Core Competencies Examined
July 8, 2012

Sears Core Competencies Examined
All companies have core competencies that they use to differentiate their company, product, or service from the competition, Sears is no exception. Also, it is common for a company’s core competencies to change, as their industry progresses through phases and shifts its emphasis between product and process innovations (Regis University, 2011), Sears is no exception. Yet, when a company’s core competencies become misaligned and no longer supports their strategic intent the business is in danger of becoming obsolete (Regis University, 2011), as their customers no longer perceive the unique benefits the company has
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By 1895, Sears’s mail order business was gaining market acceptance and the Sears catalog expanded to 532 items consisting of ‘soup to nuts’ products for their customers (Sears Archive, 2012), supporting the theory that early innovators do not have a restriction on what they bring to market (Innovation Zen, 2006). Sears’s core competencies are innovation, selling, advertising, and merchandising (Sears Archive, 2012).
By 1906 Sears was operating the largest mail order plant in the world, but that necessitated that the company’s focus shift from design dominance to products and process. Sears has entered the transitional stage of the Abernathy - Utterback Model. Sears is tasked with the need to handle mass orders economically and efficiently, and develops the ‘time scheduling system’, which brings chaos to the mail order industry and defines a significant core competence (Sears Archive, 2012). Around the same time, Sears’s customers are shifting their focus to quality, which drives the need to replace the fancy Sears catalog with a factual based catalog. Sears’s core competencies are innovation, mail order process, quality products, perceived value, and factual based advertisement (catalog).
By 1920, the landscape is changing from rural dwellers to city dwellers and people living in cities outnumber rural dwellers for the first time. Sears has emerged as the dominant design of mail order for both rural and city dwellers, but increasing competition from
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