Sears, Roebuck and Company 1. How has Sears’ business model and strategy evolved over the years—what specific phases or stages do you see during the period from 1886-2002? 2. Do you think the launch of Allstate made good strategic sense for Sears? Why or why not? What about the acquisitions of Dean Witter, Coldwell Banker, the launch of the Discover Card, and the acquisition of Western Auto? What specifically do you see as the pros and cons of each of these acquisitions? 3. What were the key elements of Sears’ strategy between 1992 and 2002? 4. Given Lacy’s background and the challenges facing Sears in 2000, what is your assessment of Lacy as Sears’ new CEO? Was he a good choice? Why or why not? What grade would you give him for his efforts in rejuvenating Sears to this point? 5. What pros and cons do you see regarding the strategy Sears implemented in 2000 for its full-line retail stores? Which aspects of the new strategy were borrowed from discounters? Which aspects were intended to make Sears less like a discounter? Is
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Thought, Sears, Discover Card, Dean Witter Reynolds