There was a time when Sears ruled the world of sporting goods, and brands like Ted Williams and Sears Yachtsman were seen as prestige brands. At right, a Sears Yachtsman logo and shield sewn onto a Sears life vest. We found it in the attic, and it looked cool and stylish as ever, even though it most certainly dates from the 1970s, when it was purchased at the Pembroke Mall Sears store in Virginia Beach.
Now that was a great Sears store! It’s time Sears got some of this sort of high-WASP branding back in their stores. Yes, Lands End is great, and it caters to their market. But it would be even greater if Sears expanded some of their Lands End stores into a sort of Action Person Zone, with all sorts of Sporting Goods. Like the old Sears Ted Williams stores, they should run it like a boutique, and NOT put it in all the stores. In fact, many of the products could bear the Ted Williams label, if Sears still has the right to it. Sears could also add some other licensed brands to the store including the Chris-Craft yachtwear and yacht accessories brand.
Sears could open select stores in areas where they would be best utilized, in resort cities, college towns and major metropolitan areas. Places like Los Angeles, Honolulu, New York City, Miami, Virginia Beach. Portland, Maine. The Connecticut coast.
There is still a market for this sort of thing. Bass Pro Shops and giant Sports Authority both have their place, but even though they are around, this blog gets a number of hits of people looking for Sears Jon Boats. The world still loves Sears Jon Boats, Ted Williams boat engines and Gamefisher electric motors.