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Jim Koepke
12-04-2015, 12:33 PM
Looks like another of the old Brick and Mortar businesses isn't transitionning well in to the modern world of retail.

http://realmoney.thestreet.com/articles/02/26/2015/22-reasons-why-end-near-sears

Sears Holding Company also owns Kmart and a few others.

jtk

Dave Richards
12-04-2015, 12:38 PM
Hasn't Sears been in trouble for a long time?

Michael Weber
12-04-2015, 12:47 PM
Hasn't Sears been in trouble for a long time?
I've been reading about that for years. I'm guessing online shopping will be the final nail for them. I'm old enough to Remember well what Sears once was. It's sad to watch, but that's just the nature of an ever changing world.

Mike Henderson
12-04-2015, 12:56 PM
Sears has been in a death spiral for quite a while. The guy who bought Sears has not done anything to upgrade the stores or keep up with other equivalent stores. I don't know how much longer it can last, but it's clear that Sears will not survive.

It's a shame to see an old line company go down like that, but I suppose it part of the "creative destruction" of capitalism.

Mike

roger wiegand
12-04-2015, 1:06 PM
I thought it was interesting (and telling) that I can now buy Craftsman tools at the local Ace hardware. Also disturbed that many of the "Craftsman" products now carry a very time-limited warranty, destroying any competitive advantage they once held.

I'm just sad they carried Lands End down with them.

Dan Hintz
12-04-2015, 1:13 PM
I thought it was interesting (and telling) that I can now buy Craftsman tools at the local Ace hardware. Also disturbed that many of the "Craftsman" products now carry a very time-limited warranty, destroying any competitive advantage they once held.

I'm just sad they carried Lands End down with them.

You've also been able to purchase non-"Sears" items through their website for a number of years. Nothing like seeing a Rikon or Jet lathe for sale on their webs to throw you off.

Ken Fitzgerald
12-04-2015, 1:39 PM
IMO, Sears got some bad management more than 20 years ago and lost sight of their place in the market. They started getting involved in real estate and other investments that turned out to be blunders in some cases. During the 8 years I was in the US Navy, we always bought furniture, clothes, tires and tools at Sears. I actually worked in the warehouse of a Sears store to supplement my family's income while I was in the Navy. Anywhere the Navy transferred me, I could find a local store to handle any warrantee claims I might have. The quality of what you could buy there was in the middle of the range. Beyond that, during the suit wearing days of my professional career, I could buy their mix and match suits which went along way to minimizing what I had to carry in my bags when I was traveling so much. The sign over of the door "Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed" did mean something at one time. The decline of Sears has been painful to watch from the perspective a once loyal customer.

Kev Williams
12-04-2015, 3:25 PM
I don't remember exactly but it seems like a bunch of head cheeses at Kmart were embezzling, right around the time K-mart bought Sears?

What I do know is, the Sears at one of our local malls was a staple around here, it was the first and usually last place to shop for near anything. Last year they tore it down and put up a Nordstroms...
And I also know K-mart must not be far behind-- because virtually every Sears and Kmart around here has less cars in their parking lot on their busiest day of the year than any Walmart around here at 3am on ANY day of the year. I have no idea how they've held out THIS long...

Wade Lippman
12-04-2015, 4:22 PM
A privately owned "Sears" store went in near me last year. I have to wonder how stupid a person could be.
I ordered a couple items on line and had them delivered there, but have never seen another person in there.

Brian Elfert
12-04-2015, 5:07 PM
And I also know K-mart must not be far behind-- because virtually every Sears and Kmart around here has less cars in their parking lot on their busiest day of the year than any Walmart around here at 3am on ANY day of the year. I have no idea how they've held out THIS long...

The local Kmart, before it closed, never had more than a dozen cars in the parking lot. I stopped there twice in the decade before it closed and quickly realized why there was nobody shopping there. I stopped there once to buy a 12 pack of pop because it was convenient. The price was $5.19 when grocery stores were selling it for around $4.00. If I wanted to pay $5.19 I would have just gone to a convenience store! I decided I could wait on the pop until I was at some place with a reasonable price.

William Adams
12-04-2015, 5:27 PM
I was very sad when I last went to the local Sears and found that they had “Craftsman” wrenches made in China.

Steve Peterson
12-04-2015, 6:23 PM
The local Kmart, before it closed, never had more than a dozen cars in the parking lot. I stopped there twice in the decade before it closed and quickly realized why there was nobody shopping there. I stopped there once to buy a 12 pack of pop because it was convenient. The price was $5.19 when grocery stores were selling it for around $4.00. If I wanted to pay $5.19 I would have just gone to a convenience store! I decided I could wait on the pop until I was at some place with a reasonable price.

The small town near me has a Kmart close to the freeway and a Walmart about a mile away. Walmart always has 4X the number of cars (and people). My impression is that Walmart usually has higher prices than Kmart.

One town over has a Costco and a Sam's club about 1/4 mile apart. Costco is always packed and Sam's club is usually deserted. I don't understand how Walmart can have such a draw, but Sam's club does not. We usually go to Sam's club if we are in a hurry.

Steve

Myk Rian
12-04-2015, 7:13 PM
And I also know K-mart must not be far behind-- because virtually every Sears and Kmart around here has less cars in their parking lot on their busiest day of the year than any Walmart around here at 3am on ANY day of the year.
In our town it's the Walmart with barely any cars. We're a bit of an upscale town, and have never understood why they built a store here. Nobody shops there.
Sears and Kmart closed years ago. We have a Sears home store in a neighboring town.

Jerome Stanek
12-04-2015, 7:15 PM
I just went to a Sears store today for the first time in 4 years then to their outlet store looking at refrigerators. The outlet had some that were about the same price as new but they all were damaged

Stan Calow
12-04-2015, 7:50 PM
I live near a old full-service Sears. I like going there because the salespeople are all old people like me, with experience, and know what good service is supposed to be like. They can make change too.

Mel Fulks
12-04-2015, 8:07 PM
Walmart is used to dealing with places that think they don't want them. They tell them that because of their specialness they will make sure they get a special store. Extra tasteful. And people fall for it. In this town that's how the west end got one. It's just like all the others in town....only smaller....but people love it. When people change their minds ,the store will close.

Greg R Bradley
12-04-2015, 10:19 PM
I suppose some of this might be regional. A decade or two ago, I bought a bunch of expensive appliances from the Great Indoors and got a Great Indoors Mastercard that pays me dividends when I use it. Since Great Indoors has left the market, I get Sears gift cards. Sometimes used for business purposes, I get thousand of dollars worth of Sears gift cards per year. I really need to stop using it as Sears has almost nothing worth buying. Guess I better find something to use them for and quit using that card as Sears will be out of business very soon.

It is really sad but my local Sears has almost no humans in the store. Seriously, if they deported everyone in the store, they would be only making a mistake on the employees and maybe me looking for something worth buying. I feel sorry for the long term sales people. I can't believe they will make it to 2020. They owned this market and they let it get away............How sad.

Jim Koepke
12-04-2015, 10:52 PM
They owned this market and they let it get away.

It is amazing as at one time so much was sold mail order through the Sears catalog. Then they became oriented toward the brick and mortar store. Now the catalogs are electronic, just a different type of mail order, and they seem to have a problem with a format of which they were once one of the early creators.

This week our son's family is with us as he changes from being based in Korea to being based in Maryland. Today his youngest, not quite two, was having fun with a mobile device connected to the internet via WiFi.

The other two children are also almost constantly on their iPads as are Zephram, our son, and Jamie, his wife.

Many retailers haven't figured out how to get the eyes to their sites.

jtk

Ole Anderson
12-05-2015, 10:20 AM
Our local mall was one of the earliest, opening in 1964 and expanding several times. Opened as the Pontiac Mall, than changed name to Summit Place. At one time it had a Sears, Penny's, Kohls, Hudson's and Montgomery Ward for anchors. Sears was the last to close last year. Now they are looking at tearing the whole place down. Very sad. Especially sad for me as I worked for years on its infrastructure expansion as a civil engineer. Final nail in it's coffin was the opening of a regional discount mall (Great Lakes Mall). I bought my first big shop tool from monkey wards there, a RAS about 1972.

Brian Elfert
12-05-2015, 10:51 AM
They tore down a big enclosed mall here a few years back. The strange thing is the Sears store stayed as a standalone store and was not torn down. The rest of the land was converted to a Walmart and a strip mall.

Dave Anderson NH
12-05-2015, 10:52 AM
I too bemoan the fall of one of the icons of American retail. Sears was the first credit card I ever had when I got out of college. Because of their attempts to make the CC their prime moneymaker I cut mine up about 10 years ago.

At one time Sears had a very good men's clothing department complete with in store tailor to make alterations. I once ordered 2 custom made and tailored suits through them made from English woolens and cut and sewn in Hong Kong. The final work was done by the tailor in the store. They were of excellent quality and fit. Sadly those days too are long gone and about the only things I can buy there are underwear, socks, and occasionally a shirt. Almost everything else is of poor quality at a not very competitive price.

Frederick Skelly
12-06-2015, 7:45 AM
It is amazing as at one time so much was sold mail order through the Sears catalog. Then they became oriented toward the brick and mortar store. Now the catalogs are electronic, just a different type of mail order, and they seem to have a problem with a format of which they were once one of the early creator.

+1. They never quite "got" online sales - a seemingly natural extension for them. Plus, the quality has been low for some time. I agree - what they did to Lands End makes me sick. I loved that company. I don't know that they're back up to snuff, yet.

And their service department for appliances? ...... don't even get me started on that goat rope.

Sad sad sad.

Tom M King
12-06-2015, 8:47 AM
Craftsman hand tools used to be decent-not any more.

I ordered a 10" bandsaw on Nov. 25. It was the best price anywhere for the exact same saw as a Rikon. Still no notice that it's in the store for pickup yet. The timing is not really bothering me on this, but almost anything else I order from anywhere else gets here in two or three days. I was in Ace Hardware a couple of days ago, and they have the same saw assembled for twenty bucks more. This can't be helping them.

Jim Koepke
12-06-2015, 2:40 PM
I ordered a 10" bandsaw on Nov. 25. It was the best price anywhere for the exact same saw as a Rikon. Still no notice that it's in the store for pickup yet.

Did you get a confirmation of your order?

The Sears store near my old California home had the nasty habit of letting employees go before they finished their day and my orders didn't get placed.

The markets have changed. At one time many people worked on their own cars and needed quality tools. Sears seems to have lost that market other than the people who buy old Craftsman tools and take them in for an exchange. Replacing old tools is one of their biggest costs.

A lot of what folks used to purchase in departments stores is now more likely bought in a speciality store.

Think Bed and Bath, Sur la Table and other fine marketers who have taken away many Sears customers.

jtk

Brian Henderson
12-06-2015, 2:51 PM
Did you get a confirmation of your order?

The Sears store near my old California home had the nasty habit of letting employees go before they finished their day and my orders didn't get placed.

The markets have changed. At one time many people worked on their own cars and needed quality tools. Sears seems to have lost that market other than the people who buy old Craftsman tools and take them in for an exchange. Replacing old tools is one of their biggest costs.

A lot of what folks used to purchase in departments stores is now more likely bought in a speciality store.

Think Bed and Bath, Sur la Table and other fine marketers who have taken away many Sears customers.

jtk

The other problem is that there used to be three tiers of retail, you had the low-end like Walmart, the mid-range that used to be Sears and the like and the high end that was Nordstroms and Macy's. The mid-range went away. That's why Target closed Mervyn's. Everything seems to have moved down, even Nordstroms and Macy's are now mid-range stores and the top end are all specialty stores.

Jim Becker
12-06-2015, 9:41 PM
Honestly, I'm surprised that Sears (and KMart) are still around...things haven't been going well for a very long time. I'm glad that it appears that Lands End escaped them in 2014 after a dozen years under that sinking umbrella.

When I was growing up, Sears Roebuck was "the" store where many things came from and their Christmas Catalog was a coveted thing when it arrived each year. Many of our family's purchases from them were via mail order since we didn't live near any of their stores. And think back a little farther...there are a great many Craftsman style houses still "out there" that folks ordered from Sears long ago. There's a small community near where I live now that most of the homes were Sears Craftsman style "kit" homes. It's sad to see them do poorly, but times are tough for big, department retailers.

Tom M King
12-06-2015, 9:43 PM
Did you get a confirmation of your order?

The Sears store near my old California home had the nasty habit of letting employees go before they finished their day and my orders didn't get placed.

The markets have changed. At one time many people worked on their own cars and needed quality tools. Sears seems to have lost that market other than the people who buy old Craftsman tools and take them in for an exchange. Replacing old tools is one of their biggest costs.

A lot of what folks used to purchase in departments stores is now more likely bought in a speciality store.

Think Bed and Bath, Sur la Table and other fine marketers who have taken away many Sears customers.

jtk

Yes, they sent the order confirmation right away.

Bruce Wrenn
12-06-2015, 10:34 PM
Sears started their downward spiral many years ago, when they didn't take outside charge cards, only theirs and Discover (a Sears product.) Shoppers had many other choices, so they exercised them.

Rollie Meyers
12-06-2015, 11:53 PM
Anyone taking bets as to when they go under? :D J/K As much as I dislike them, I really don't want to see them gone as there is not much else to replace them. They were a American icon.

Mike Wilkins
12-07-2015, 10:36 AM
I too remember Sears from a long time ago (for me that would be the 60's). The annual thick catalog.

My grand dad also looked forward to the annual catalog for other reasons. His house had one of those out-houses; you know, the small rectangular structure with a wood seat and a hole in the ground. Those catalogs made great toilet paper.

Matt Meiser
12-07-2015, 12:08 PM
I really don't want to see them gone as there is not much else to replace them. They were a American icon.

I think they've already been replaced for many, many people.

Jerome Stanek
12-07-2015, 2:25 PM
sears is going the way as the mom and pop hardware stores that the borg put out of business. Also Walmart running the small stores

Brian Henderson
12-07-2015, 10:06 PM
I think they've already been replaced for many, many people.

I haven't stepped foot in a Sears in years. No, correction, I walked into one a couple of weeks ago looking for something, they didn't have it, I left.

Ken Combs
12-09-2015, 3:03 PM
IMO, Sears was successful in the 50s-70s primarily due to store credit. Bank cards weren't a big product like today. So most people were stuck with either department store cards or bank loans. Banks never liked small consumer loans so the dpt stores ruled. Almost all the carpenters I knew used Craftsman tools, a lot of them for that reason. And, back then the top line Sears tools were excellent! I still have a few, a little 4" trim saw, 6 1/2" circular saw (Dad bought it in '55) and a few ratchets/sockets. All very good stuff.

When consumer credit became more available, they had to compete on features, service and price. Sadly, they failed to do so successfully.