As our recent report linked further below reminded MHProNews readers, Sears produced the precursor of the prefab home, and so much more.
So what doomed Sears? An ex-Sears official in the CBS video below said, “bad leaders.”
Of the 2,300 Sears locations 8 years ago, CBS says that only about 500 remain open today.
That sounds tragically like what occurred in manufactured housing (MH) retail, and in manufactured home production too.
“They needed to reinvent themselves in a really disruptive way, and it just didn’t happen,” said Don Katz, author of a book on Sears. Take Sears out, and put MH retail in, and you might get chills up your spine as you ponder this modern business morality tale.
Lessons for MHVille?
The Monopolistic Housing Institute, ooops, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) keeps trying to sell industry independents on just how great everything is, and why their leadership should be trusted.
But a quick glance at their own recent report, shown above – or MH shipment trends shown below – should be sufficient reasons inquiring and savvy manufactured home independents to consider a popular Latin phrase. “Caveat emptor,” meaning “Let the buyer (of an MHI membership…) beware.”
If MHI knows what it’s talking about, then why has the industry slid so far, while often more expensive RVs have rocketed past?
The other logical option is equally disturbing. MHI is doing what it’s doing deliberately, posturing activities that produces measurable results only for a few favored firms, vs. the majority of the industry, which is steadily being consolidated. Take your pick, but either way, MHI has failed in their claim to represent ‘all aspects of factory built housing’ successfully, which may explain why new post-production MH trade groups have and are forming.
As 2018 wraps to a close, the story of Sears is an ominous reminder of the high cost of bad leadership. Beyond what the insightful CBS video spotlighted, is the fact that monopolistic maneuvers – which some believe include Arlington-based MHI puppet-masters in Omaha and Knoxville – can prove to be fatal to otherwise good businesses.
More than one state association executives have told MHProNews about the troubling trends they see as the numbers of independent manufactured home retailers decline.
It is worth noting that Legacy Housing, which recently went public, cited as the prime goal of their use of new capital would be to open new retail centers. For more on that, see the related report, below the byline and notices at the end of this post.
Want a brighter 2019? Common sense says that if you keep doing the same things, the same way, you’ll get the same result.
If you really want a brighter future in 2019 and beyond, and aren’t a monopolist, then you should carefully reconsider who you support, what information sources that you trust, and what changes need to be made in order to avoid the death knell that has grabbed once giant Sears. That’s this evening’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)
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(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)
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