Texas A&M retail expert: Sears 'behind the eight ball' on e-commerce

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - Sears, a staple department store that once was the go-to retailer for nearly everything, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

"The current state of retail is highly competitive," said Kelli Hollinger, Director of the Center for Retailing Studies at the Texas A&M Mays Business School. "You have to offer something truly special and unique with extraordinary value for customers; otherwise, the ease and simplicity of ordering through online players like Amazon make that an easier choice for consumers."

But where did Sears specifically go wrong? Hollinger says mismanagement was a big issue.

"While they offered great brands, they were really late to the game with e-commerce," said Hollinger. "They couldn't be nimble, they couldn't move fast enough, and they were then behind the eight ball."

That, combined with bad budget decisions regarding debt, is what led to Sears' demise.

Yet Hollinger says this doesn't have to be the story for every big-bix department store.

"Macy's is actually doing well," said Hollinger. "Stores like that and like JCPenney have an opportunity to do things differently."

For the full conversation with Hollinger, see the video player above.