Letters From Leton: Any Sears Boxes in Your Driveway?

It’s not unusual (especially during the Holiday Season) to come home to a box on your porch or in your driveway.

How many of those boxes are from Sears? How many are from Amazon?

Sears and Roebuck began operations in 1893 (five years after your Bank began). Sears was known for its catalog order system and for shipping goods (pots and pans, pre-built houses, etc.) via railroads, the latest in fast paced technology.

Sears used technology to quickly get quality goods at a reasonable price to people throughout the country. Sound familiar?

Later on, as roads developed, Sears built brick-and-mortar stores, and people came to shop there with the catalog being viewed as old fashioned.

Later, a new fast paced technology came along, the internet, and Amazon, not Sears, developed the electronic catalog. Today Amazon is a thriving business, and Sears is near closing.

How could a company that had a catalog system and fast shipping at the heart of its DNA not see the value of an internet-based catalog and shipping system?

The only thing that I can come up with is that Sears became “uppity,” as my dad would say, and felt that they could control the marketplaceThat was a dumb thought!

We should consider the path that Sears has traveled to disaster as a reminder of  failure. We must not think (like Sears) that we are smarter than the market and do not need to adapt our products and services and their delivery. Instead, we must be constantly adapting to improve our products and services, and we must always be considering the best way to deliver them to customers.

– Leton

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“Letters From Leton” is a blog series comprised of the weekly updates that Leton Harding – President, Chairman, and CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, shares with the Bank’s team members. These newsletters are full of uplifting anecdotes and intriguing insights that are applicable beyond the Bank, so we want to share them with you.