CHAPTER 11

Data Is Strategy

Even Big Data Couldn’t Save Sears Holdings

Sears Holdings is a global retailer which was founded in the 19th century in the US, owning stores such as Sears Department Store and Kmart. It once reigned across the US, but has currently been pushed back by competitors such as Walmart and Target, and is threatened by online retailers such as Amazon. The decline is also visible in the sales trends—its sales decreased from $50 billion in 2008 to $42 billion in 2011, in contrast to Amazon whose sales grew rapidly from $19 billion to $48 billion in the same period.

Looking for a way to fight the competition, Sears began a customer loyalty program called “Shop Your Way” in 2012. The goal of the program was to increase its loyal ...

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