Sears Holdings : Recycling mix up
Content displayed beyond its shelf-life gives a sense of tailored neglect.
Sears Holdings, a US-based retail group, gives a glimpse of its changing approach to environmental sustainability.
Sears Holdings corporate site includes Environmental Sustainability in a universal set of featured links. This launches a microsite that promotes a recycling award card as its headline content, alongside panels for a Sears Sustainability Twitter feed and featured stories from a Green Living Blog. Below these are a carousel of ‘Best of our green products’, then a set of six illustrated links to information about the company’s initiatives in areas such as Carbon & Energy Management, Transportation Management and Stakeholder Engagement and what consumers can do themselves on these issues.
The corporate featured links also include one to Sears Holdings Alumni that launches a standalone site for retirees and ex-employees where there is also a link for Environmental Sustainability. This opens a version of the microsite that has a photographic home page with a conventional horizontal navigation bar and three preview panels for Corporate Initiatives, Business and Departments. Each has multiple sub-sections that overall cover the same ground as the company reporting on the other version. The only physical connection between the two is from the ‘home’ icon on the Alumni iteration, which refreshes the screen with the corporate version.
Exciting as the conclusion is, Sears’ dual presentation of its environmental activities is not a case of tailored reporting for different audiences. Rather, it gives an inadvertent insight into the company’s changing approach to reporting in this area. Examination of the content confirms that the version of Environmental Sustainability presented to Alumni is an older one, published in 2009 and referencing activity mostly in the preceding year. The ‘corporate’ version is two years younger, representing the current annual review – and a revised approach that is much more focused on Sears’ green products and communication with consumers than on its environmental management.
Enlightened self-interest? More engaging? Interpret it how you will, the one indisputable fact is that disjointed management of the web estate is the cause of the double vision. No one supplied the Alumni site managers with an updated URL for the Environmental Sustainability link or thought to install an automatic redirect beyond the home button. The sense of neglect may not play well with retirees left to make do with a retired service.http://www.searsholdings.com
First published on 26 April, 2012