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Sunday, April 14, 2019

Consumers Breaking with Legacy Brands

Still nostalgia equity is a powerful thing for many brands.

Nostalgia Is Not Enough: Why Consumers Abandon Legacy Brands
Mar 25, 2019 Strategic Management  North America

Earlier this month, Sears ended a nine-decade presence in Lincoln, Nebraska, when it closed its store at the Gateway Mall. So it was, too, at Park City Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where that town’s Sears store was one of dozens shuttered nationally in yet another wave of contraction by the once-mighty retailer.

The closings set off the expected misty-eyed recollections about the legacy brand and the cherished place it occupied in hearts across the country. In Colorado, where Sears closed two stores in Colorado Springs and one in Pueblo, a columnist for the Gazette mourned the loss. But she also admitted that her February visit to report on the closing was the first time she had been to Sears in a decade. “I left empty-handed, and a little heavier-hearted,” wrote Stephanie Earls.

Among legacy brands, Sears is in similar, troubled company. Payless ShoeSource is liquidating its 2,100 U.S. stores. Toys “R” Us — where many a young American parent remembers buying his or her first Transformer or Super Soaker – closed its 730 locations last year and is struggling to come back in some form post-bankruptcy.

You might have expected that the pull of nostalgia would have protected these brands from the retail re-sorting underway. Customers have emotional connections to certain stores — places where their parents brought them as children and where they did their first Christmas shopping, and developed certain buying habits and loyalties.

So what was the breaking point for customers? Price? Experience? Convenience? Why, in the end, are customers abandoning their shopping heritage and breaking up with brands? ... '

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