Sears & tech trends in 2023

Once upon time there was a major American department store named “Sears”. The Chicago based chain covered the retail landscape coast to coast from big cities to small towns offering everything from toys, clothes and household goods. What made Sears special? The once mighty retailer had Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances. Those two labels had a reputation of durability and quality. So well made, they came with life warranties and repairs. The process was easy, a buyer could take a tool back or call for a hassle free, at times no charge, service repair covered by the warranty. Modern appliance companies could take a cue from this vintage customer service template.

Sears Appliances
Sears Appliances

As the world shifts to pressing concerns and priorities, from AI, geo-political forces, energy shortages, supply chain disruptions, environmental concerns and Inflation Living Crisis, new models will have to develop.

Will the consumer appliances embrace the circular economy? What about Technologies Planned Obsolescence model? The Innovation Media Briefing for IFA 2023 came together to discuss upcoming trends in technology and consumer appliances. Will the consumer appliance brands embrace the circular economy? What about technologies Planned Obsolescence model? One of the major topics, developing a repairing and service economy for electronic goods. The EU is in the process of passing a right to repair laws, giving consumers a claim to repair electronic goods with access to spare parts.

As the consumers want more goods with a sustainable footprint, the buy now and throw away model is coming under scrutiny. When was the last time anyone had a display repaired? High cost and lack of repair professionals make it easier to buy another. Should I wait for a repairman when it would take me under fifteen minutes to work to electronic store? There are more barriers to fixing tech devices; companies control their supplies and services training.

Are buyers willing to spend money on the latest gadget during these times? Doubtful, in Berlin we face high energy bills this winter. More buyers are delaying unnecessary purchase in face of increasing basic living costs, keeping their old tech longer.

The technology industry after years of soaring above the clouds is dropping back to Earth in 2023, however, they are finding the world is a disparate place.

IFA 2023 starts August 31st.