Long-time readers know that I have criticized Sears many times before. I think selling their credit division was a mistake because the competition in retail is tough and I don't see them with any competitive advantage. My experience yesterday just validates my belief that they don't have a clue.
I have been looking at exercise bikes for a while now, and Sears had one on sale. I pop in and see what I want, but for about 10 minutes I can't find a sales clerk anywhere near the sporting goods area. Then, when the guy finally shows up, he has holes in his shirt. Not big holes, but holes the size of dimes. Lots of them. Maybe 8 or 10, mostly across the back, but a few were in front. What kind of signal is that sending to the customer? I still bought the bike, but I really don't want to go back to the store anytime soon.
Appearance matters for employees who deal with customers, and I am amazed that more managers don't realize that.