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Numerous press reports yesterday detailed how brands long championed by either Sears or Kmart now will become part of one big family, with Martha Stewart items being sold from the same aisles as Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances. "We're looking at different opportunities on how Sears and Kmart can cross-merchandize," Sears spokeswoman Lisa Gibbons said Monday.

But analysts say that numerous questions remain to be answered by the company, such as whether Kmart and Sears will be so preoccupied with trying to meld their two companies and cultures that they won’t be able to focus on being competitive with Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot and all the other competitors that are out there.

The big test is seen as the fourth quarter of 2005, at which point consumers shopping for the holiday season will be making buying decisions – and it will become quickly apparent whether Kmart and/or Sears are part of the equation.
KC's View:
We’re betting no.

When we look at Ksears, we see a company that seems primarily concerned with the customers who buy and sell stock, not the customers who walk in the front door looking for differentiated merchandise and a compelling shopping experience.

It is hard to name one category in which Ksears is better than anyone else in the field. It’s like the management there wants to turn mediocrity and old age into a virtue.