Sears just got another depressing sign it is doomed

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Sears, Kmart Closing Stores to Cut Costs

Sears is losing some of its most loyal customers.

The department store has traditionally attracted female shoppers aged 55 years and older, but that demographic is now choosing to shop elsewhere, according to a recent study by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

In fact, most women would now rather shop at Goodwill than at Sears, according to the survey.

"Quite literally, Sears shoppers are a dying breed," Pam Goodfellow, an analyst for Prosper Insights & Analytics, writes in Forbes.

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Sears just got another depressing sign it is doomed
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In women's clothing alone, the share of shoppers who prefer Sears has dropped 53% from January 2006 to January 2016, the survey found.

Sears is also losing considerable ground in categories like sporting goods, linens and bedding, home improvement, and electronics.

It's a "dire" situation for Sears, according to Goodfellow. As older shoppers leave Sears, the company is failing to attract new, younger customers, she writes.

"Sears' biggest shopper losses have come from what was once was its core customer base: those 55 and over," Goodfellow writes. "Adding to Sears' woes are dramatic declines among those 18-34 and 35-54 as well, pointing to a very bleak outlook for Sears' future."

Sears has acknowledged some of its troubles in advertising. The retailer mocked its own empty parking lots in a 2013 ad geared toward millennials.

We reached out to the company for comment on the Prosper survey and will update when we hear back.

Sears' same-stores sales have fallen for the past five years, including a 10.1% drop in the first three quarters of 2015 compared to the same period a year earlier.

The department store chain has been closing hundreds of stores and the stock has lost 50% of its value in the last year.

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RELATED: Check out money-saving online shopping tips

Money-saving online shopping hacks
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Sears just got another depressing sign it is doomed

1. Clear your browser history

Some retailers might sneakily increase prices based on your browsing patterns and demand - so make sure to always clear your history and cookies before shopping! 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

2. Use an alternate email address

When you log in to a retailer's site with a new email address, retailers will often welcome you as a new customer with exciting new promotions and discounts. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

3. Note price changes throughout the week

Another pro tip: Prices and deals can fluctuate based on the day of the week. For instance, if you're purchasing a flight, monitor prices for around a week to see if they take a dip on any particular day before purchasing. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock

4. Let items linger in your cart

Here's a hack: Add items to your cart, but let them sit for 24 hours before purchasing. The retailer might attempt to lure you back with additional discounts.

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5. Check out multiple sites

Do some research! Don't settle for the first price you see - poke around on a search engine and find the best deal. 

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6. Bargain with customer service

Use customer service to your advantage. If you ask (politely!) about an expired coupon, you'll often find yourself pleasantly surprised by an extension or new code! 

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7. Don't purchase impulsively

Try this shopping hack - don't buy that shiny, new toy right away. Step away for a few hours, and if you find yourself itching to go back and click 'purchase', then you know you won't regret your investment!

Photo credit: FogStock

8. Avoid shipping fees

Take advantage of free shipping! If you are a few dollars below the free shipping price point, add a low-cost filler item you need anyway (like socks!) and make the math work out in your favor. 

Photo credit: Alamy


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