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(BestLife)   Sears, where America USED to shop   (bestlifeonline.com) divider line
    More: Sad, Sears Holdings Corporation, Kmart, Sears, Mail order, Department store, new stores, Wal-Mart, iconic retailer  
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1774 clicks; posted to Business » on 26 May 2022 at 10:04 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-05-26 7:31:47 PM  
Wait, Sears is still open? Could have fooled me.
 
2022-05-26 8:37:21 PM  
Clickbait POS article.  The word "Sears" doesn't appear anywhere in the text until the 4th paragraph. I've read guacamole recipes that got to the point faster.
 
2022-05-26 8:43:33 PM  
I thought some of the closures were consolidations, especially for Rite Aid. They and CVS grew a lot by acquisition recently so have a lot of locations located right next to each other.
 
2022-05-26 9:00:09 PM  
:(

Growing up during the 1960s and 1970s, my brothers and I always knew it was going to be a good day when our dad said that we were going to Sears in Boyle Heights, L.A. That meant that we were going to get popcorn AND candy in the store's basement while Dad bought lotsa Craftsman tools that he would never use.

Mmm...Pokies. And chocolate clusters. Dad always bought 2 bags of peanut clusters, one for himself, and one for Mom, me, & my brothers, We always ended up sneaking candy out of Dad's bag after we ate ours.

The fresh-popped popcorn was sold in cardboard boxes like these:

Fark user imageView Full Size


And the candy was sold in bags like these:

collectingcandy.comView Full Size
Fark user imageView Full Size


That Sears location closed for good about a year ago.
 
2022-05-26 9:02:33 PM  
What destroyed Sears? Ayn Rand.
 
2022-05-26 9:21:35 PM  
They could have adapted their mail order business to the early internet and been Amazon before that bookstore even existed.

/I feel they were an awesome company that has been slowly mismanaged to where it is.
 
2022-05-26 10:13:38 PM  
I remember Sears being one of the anchor stores in the Concord Mall in DE from the 90s.  They were (are?) one of the last ones to go.  I mean, I was around for the end of the Mall culture, and Sears was a store in there, but Sears wasn't special.  Aeropostale, Pac Sun, American Eagle? were the hep stores.  Sears was for appliances.
 
2022-05-26 10:16:20 PM  
Sears, the company that had all of the catalog-order and shipping infrastructure to crush Amazon in its cradle, but couldn't be bothered to just... put their catalog on the internet?  That Sears?  May they live forever as a cautionary tale told to business-school students.
 
2022-05-26 10:26:27 PM  

raygundan: Sears, the company that had all of the catalog-order and shipping infrastructure to crush Amazon in its cradle, but couldn't be bothered to just... put their catalog on the internet?  That Sears?  May they live forever as a cautionary tale told to business-school students.


They were struggling well before the internet was a thing.  Their main problem was a big move into clothing which distracted them from their core interests.  Turns out it's very hard to sell clothing efficiently by mail-order.
 
2022-05-26 10:27:58 PM  
Reading that article, i swear i heard Jeff Bezos laughing in the background...
 
2022-05-26 10:35:04 PM  

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: raygundan: Sears, the company that had all of the catalog-order and shipping infrastructure to crush Amazon in its cradle, but couldn't be bothered to just... put their catalog on the internet?  That Sears?  May they live forever as a cautionary tale told to business-school students.

They were struggling well before the internet was a thing.  Their main problem was a big move into clothing which distracted them from their core interests.  Turns out it's very hard to sell clothing efficiently by mail-order.


Gosh, but what a recovery they could have had if they'd just put the non-clothing inventory online as a starting point.

It is, of course, easy to criticize with hindsight- but the effort to get online at the beginning would have been trivial for them. They could have done it with a system where the backend was literally people reading incoming email and manually keying it into their mainframe, for Pete's sake.
 
2022-05-26 10:41:09 PM  

AlgaeRancher: They could have adapted their mail order business to the early internet and been Amazon before that bookstore even existed.

/I feel they were an awesome company that has been slowly mismanaged to where it is.


BIngo, I've always felt the same way. They always had the best customor service and I miss their appliences.
 
2022-05-26 10:44:04 PM  
I miss Monkey Wards.
 
2022-05-26 10:47:56 PM  

greentea1985: I thought some of the closures were consolidations, especially for Rite Aid. They and CVS grew a lot by acquisition recently so have a lot of locations located right next to each other.


Rite Aid actually shed a good amount their stores as they sold them off to Walgreens (which in turn, has also closed a lot of the ones they acquired). They have been quietly closing a lot of other locations though and greatly reduced their inventory. They spent plenty of $$ creating a new logo and putting it up on all their stores though...it seems like a possible bankruptcy is in their future. CVS (at least the retail component) /Walgreens aren't much healthier either. They all over expanded too much and especially in this economy, people aren't buying 150% marked up bottles of pain reliever anymore.
 
2022-05-26 10:53:40 PM  
Transformco? Really? That's the best they could come up with?
 
2022-05-26 10:56:03 PM  

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: Their main problem was a big move into clothing which distracted them from their core interests.  Turns out it's very hard to sell clothing efficiently by mail-order.


I could be wrong, but I feel this coincided with the rapid expansion of obesity in America. It's easy to sell mail-order clothing when people are normal, standard sizes and know what their clothing size is. When they bloat up into fat-arses, it becomes harder to get clothing that fits or to cater to people's vanity of the size they believe they SHOULD be.
 
2022-05-26 11:03:54 PM  
Didn't even know there were still 70 locations to close.
 
2022-05-26 11:12:56 PM  

Ghastly: Didn't even know there were still 70 locations to close.


These are the "Hometown" stores that are independently owned.
 
2022-05-26 11:15:21 PM  

mrmopar5287: I could be wrong, but I feel this coincided with the rapid expansion of obesity in America. It's easy to sell mail-order clothing when people are normal, standard sizes and know what their clothing size is. When they bloat up into fat-arses, it becomes harder to get clothing that fits or to cater to people's vanity of the size they believe they SHOULD be.


That's why they invented vanity sizing.  I'm now a size -2, and I used to be an 8.  (I never order any clothes from online.  I never trust the sizing.)

Our KMart is now a UHaul Center, because this means something.
 
2022-05-26 11:28:45 PM  

cryinoutloud: Our KMart is now a UHaul Center, because this means something.


THAT HAPPENED TO YOU TOO?!

One of the K-Marts in my town is a U-Haul storage center. It's perfect, really. Lots of indoor floor space for storage rental and it can be climate controlled because you really only need to keep it above 40 degrees in winter and below 85 degrees in summer, so utility bills aren't horrible.
 
2022-05-26 11:35:01 PM  
Is there any lower form of life than Vladimir Putin or Eddie Lampert?

We used to ask my parents, "Where do babies come from?"
They would answer, "Sears".
That's a silly answer, why do you say that?
"Because everything else in the house comes from Sears."

At a dog park recently I met a couple whose parents got a puppy from Sears.  Delivered via a the U.S. (non-De Joy) mail.

All hail Jeff Bezos!!

/DeJoy has killed more chicks than Justice Alito
//Though Alito will catch up quickly
 
2022-05-26 11:38:05 PM  

mrmopar5287: Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: Their main problem was a big move into clothing which distracted them from their core interests.  Turns out it's very hard to sell clothing efficiently by mail-order.

I could be wrong, but I feel this coincided with the rapid expansion of obesity in America. It's easy to sell mail-order clothing when people are normal, standard sizes and know what their clothing size is. When they bloat up into fat-arses, it becomes harder to get clothing that fits or to cater to people's vanity of the size they believe they SHOULD be.


There's a whole weird sketchy story behind Sears and their current CEO Eddie Lampert.
 
2022-05-26 11:39:08 PM  
Sears sounds like the name of a place to buy a barbecue.
 
2022-05-26 11:47:20 PM  
We still have a Sears store here in beautiful downtown Burbank.  For now.
 
2022-05-26 11:48:32 PM  

raygundan: Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: raygundan: Sears, the company that had all of the catalog-order and shipping infrastructure to crush Amazon in its cradle, but couldn't be bothered to just... put their catalog on the internet?  That Sears?  May they live forever as a cautionary tale told to business-school students.

They were struggling well before the internet was a thing.  Their main problem was a big move into clothing which distracted them from their core interests.  Turns out it's very hard to sell clothing efficiently by mail-order.

Gosh, but what a recovery they could have had if they'd just put the non-clothing inventory online as a starting point.

It is, of course, easy to criticize with hindsight- but the effort to get online at the beginning would have been trivial for them. They could have done it with a system where the backend was literally people reading incoming email and manually keying it into their mainframe, for Pete's sake.


Easier said than done. Sears was losing money on their mail order for years.  1990 was when the oldest Boomers turned 45 and the youngest 25.  Peak consumption was over by then.

Wayfair lost $319 million in Q1 selling furniture online.
 
2022-05-27 12:04:18 AM  
There were still Sears's to close?!
 
2022-05-27 12:19:21 AM  

cryinoutloud: Our KMart is now a UHaul Center, because this means something.


Ones I know turned into a Mexican bazaar, one a Hobby Lobby, and another razed to make way for a larger development that includes a Walmart.
 
2022-05-27 12:20:54 AM  

noazark: We still have a Sears store here in beautiful downtown Burbank.  For now.


Is it still functional, or being used as a movie prop?
 
2022-05-27 12:25:48 AM  

wildcardjack: noazark: We still have a Sears store here in beautiful downtown Burbank.  For now.

Is it still functional, or being used as a movie prop?


Both
 
2022-05-27 12:32:39 AM  

mrmopar5287: cryinoutloud: Our KMart is now a UHaul Center, because this means something.

THAT HAPPENED TO YOU TOO?!

One of the K-Marts in my town is a U-Haul storage center. It's perfect, really. Lots of indoor floor space for storage rental and it can be climate controlled because you really only need to keep it above 40 degrees in winter and below 85 degrees in summer, so utility bills aren't horrible.


/ The universe is  small  The same thing happened to the Kmart I used to work at back in 09.

The "original" Kmart was closed in 2017

Original KMart store closing
Youtube aDXb0pgR0wQ
 
2022-05-27 1:00:28 AM  

Lorelle: :(

Growing up during the 1960s and 1970s, my brothers and I always knew it was going to be a good day when our dad said that we were going to Sears in Boyle Heights, L.A. That meant that we were going to get popcorn AND candy in the store's basement while Dad bought lotsa Craftsman tools that he would never use.

Mmm...Pokies. And chocolate clusters. Dad always bought 2 bags of peanut clusters, one for himself, and one for Mom, me, & my brothers, We always ended up sneaking candy out of Dad's bag after we ate ours.

The fresh-popped popcorn was sold in cardboard boxes like these:

[Fark user image image 375x500]

And the candy was sold in bags like these:

[collectingcandy.com image 850x632][Fark user image image 513x723]

That Sears location closed for good about a year ago.


CSB
 
2022-05-27 1:12:21 AM  

MBZ321: greentea1985: I thought some of the closures were consolidations, especially for Rite Aid. They and CVS grew a lot by acquisition recently so have a lot of locations located right next to each other.

Rite Aid actually shed a good amount their stores as they sold them off to Walgreens (which in turn, has also closed a lot of the ones they acquired). They have been quietly closing a lot of other locations though and greatly reduced their inventory. They spent plenty of $$ creating a new logo and putting it up on all their stores though...it seems like a possible bankruptcy is in their future. CVS (at least the retail component) /Walgreens aren't much healthier either. They all over expanded too much and especially in this economy, people aren't buying 150% marked up bottles of pain reliever anymore.


A new logo?
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-05-27 2:44:36 AM  

AlgaeRancher: They could have adapted their mail order business to the early internet and been Amazon before that bookstore even existed.

/I feel they were an awesome company that has been slowly mismanaged to where it is.


Yes, but they were declining before the internet was a serious thing. Wal-Mart was the store that started beating them into the ground, surpassing them by 1990 (the internet being popular was still years away). More the trickle of mismanagement than the "missed the boat on internet sales".
 
2022-05-27 2:54:39 AM  
"These are never easy decisions"

BULLSH*T!! These boardroom sociopaths find it easy AF to shutter a store and kick all the employees out. Some of the really scummy ones will even bounce the last paychecks just to squeeze out that last dollar for their Superyacht fund.
 
2022-05-27 3:38:37 AM  
Going to the Put on Shop, buying a Ted Williams rod and reel and eating fresh roasted cashews will always be in my memory
 
2022-05-27 3:38:46 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-05-27 3:40:07 AM  

raygundan: Sears, the company that had all of the catalog-order and shipping infrastructure to crush Amazon in its cradle, but couldn't be bothered to just... put their catalog on the internet?  That Sears?  May they live forever as a cautionary tale told to business-school students.


It's mean cancer was the Ayn Rand Lovedoll-humping owner who pitted internal departments against each other like a WWE Royal Rumble. It's two legendery brands, Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances, became either sold off to other companies or reduced to Chinese-made garbage, like it's stainless steel fridges that could rrust & corrode within months.

consumerist.comView Full Size

Fark user imageView Full Size

s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.comView Full Size
 
2022-05-27 6:03:07 AM  

AAAAGGGGHHHH: raygundan: Sears, the company that had all of the catalog-order and shipping infrastructure to crush Amazon in its cradle, but couldn't be bothered to just... put their catalog on the internet?  That Sears?  May they live forever as a cautionary tale told to business-school students.

It's mean cancer was the Ayn Rand Lovedoll-humping owner who pitted internal departments against each other like a WWE Royal Rumble. It's two legendery brands, Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances, became either sold off to other companies or reduced to Chinese-made garbage, like it's stainless steel fridges that could rrust & corrode within months.

[consumerist.com image 600x450]
[Fark user image 194x259]
[s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com image 614x460]


A couple weeks ago, the Craftsman lawnmower I bought 22 years ago started on the first pull after sitting all winter.  The thing is indestructible.
 
2022-05-27 6:59:04 AM  
the one thing i always liked about sears...if i broke a craftsman tool, i could walk in grab a new one off the shelf and hand the broken one to the clerk.  he would ring up an exchange and i would be out of there at no cost to me.
 
2022-05-27 8:42:55 AM  
Wait, Sears had 70 locations to close?  Is Sears opening up locations just to immediately close them?
 
2022-05-27 8:51:25 AM  
TIL that apparently Sears still has stores open. Rite Aid I 100% understand. Got my Rx's there for years, finally pulled the plug on them a couple years ago.
 
2022-05-27 8:55:33 AM  
Muta:

A couple weeks ago, the Craftsman lawnmower I bought 22 years ago started on the first pull after sitting all winter.  The thing is indestructible.

I had one just like it. Best mower I've ever had, started on the first pull every time. Engine finally gave out on it so I bought a new one. The wheel drive system shiat the bed less than five years later, so I pulled the engine off it and put it on the old mower. Thing ran like a beast for even moar years.

Finally had to put her out to pasture due to rust holes thru the mower deck. Bought a new Honda that I have to pull and pull and pull to get started.

Said fark it and bought a Cub Cadet last year. Shoulda done that 10 years ago.
 
2022-05-27 9:34:24 AM  
they once used to own a pretty nice building...how's that synergy working for you?

upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size
 
2022-05-27 9:42:11 AM  
chitownmike:
A new logo?
[Fark user image 400x238]


Rite Aid...not Walgreens
 
2022-05-27 9:46:09 AM  

AAAAGGGGHHHH: It's two legendery brands, Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances, became either sold off to other companies or reduced to Chinese-made garbage, like it's stainless steel fridges that could rrust & corrode within months.


Sears never operated its own factories. 'Kenmore' large appliances (and Craftsman) have always been made by others, mainly Whirlpool but also GE, Electrolux, and LG. Appliance quality from those manufacturers have declined, so as did the 'made for Sears' models.
 
2022-05-27 10:13:46 AM  

AAAAGGGGHHHH: raygundan: Sears, the company that had all of the catalog-order and shipping infrastructure to crush Amazon in its cradle, but couldn't be bothered to just... put their catalog on the internet?  That Sears?  May they live forever as a cautionary tale told to business-school students.

It's mean cancer was the Ayn Rand Lovedoll-humping owner who pitted internal departments against each other like a WWE Royal Rumble. It's two legendery brands, Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances, became either sold off to other companies or reduced to Chinese-made garbage, like it's stainless steel fridges that could rrust & corrode within months.

[consumerist.com image 600x450]
[Fark user image 194x259]
[s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com image 614x460]


The previous owner installed all Kenmore appliances in our house right before we bought it.  They all look nice, but they seem really cheaply made. Five years later, they're *mostly* OK.  If anything breaks*, it's getting replaced rather than fixed. 

*Electric stove went out and I just went ahead and replaced it with what I wanted instead of considering repairs.  Oven had no preheat indicator, no temperature readout, crummy temperature control, no convection setting, no airfry, no selectable burner sizes, no self-clean.  Vamoose!
 
2022-05-27 11:08:40 AM  

AlgaeRancher: They could have adapted their mail order business to the early internet and been Amazon before that bookstore even existed.

/I feel they were an awesome company that has been slowly mismanaged to where it is.


I worked for them when they were at the height of their telecatalog business and then when they shut down.  Talk about a missed opportunity, they indeed could have been Amazon if they had just been forward thinking.
 
2022-05-27 11:18:10 AM  

KSCA75: AlgaeRancher: They could have adapted their mail order business to the early internet and been Amazon before that bookstore even existed.

/I feel they were an awesome company that has been slowly mismanaged to where it is.

I worked for them when they were at the height of their telecatalog business and then when they shut down.  Talk about a missed opportunity, they indeed could have been Amazon if they had just been forward thinking.


Read "The Innovator's Dilemma". It's pretty much the Bible of Silicon Valley.

Sears moved disrupted all of the small locally owned department stores and put them out of business.

Walmart disrupted Sears with low prices.

Amazon disrupted Sears and ever other retailer.

Sears never had a chance.

s.financesonline.comView Full Size
 
2022-05-27 11:42:35 AM  

Izunbacol: AAAAGGGGHHHH: raygundan: Sears, the company that had all of the catalog-order and shipping infrastructure to crush Amazon in its cradle, but couldn't be bothered to just... put their catalog on the internet?  That Sears?  May they live forever as a cautionary tale told to business-school students.

It's mean cancer was the Ayn Rand Lovedoll-humping owner who pitted internal departments against each other like a WWE Royal Rumble. It's two legendery brands, Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances, became either sold off to other companies or reduced to Chinese-made garbage, like it's stainless steel fridges that could rrust & corrode within months.

[consumerist.com image 600x450]
[Fark user image 194x259]
[s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com image 614x460]

The previous owner installed all Kenmore appliances in our house right before we bought it.  They all look nice, but they seem really cheaply made. Five years later, they're *mostly* OK.  If anything breaks*, it's getting replaced rather than fixed. 

*Electric stove went out and I just went ahead and replaced it with what I wanted instead of considering repairs.  Oven had no preheat indicator, no temperature readout, crummy temperature control, no convection setting, no airfry, no selectable burner sizes, no self-clean.  Vamoose!


I don't think I have ever had a stove with any of those features, unless you count the little light as a "preheat indicator."
 
2022-05-27 12:30:08 PM  
When Craftsman tools were still made in the US, there were none better, period.

CSB: My first real job (not counting bagging groceries at a local Kohls in Milwaukee), was as a retail clerk in paint and electrical at the Bay Shore Mall Sears store in Whitefish Bay. Of course, I knew nothing about paint and even less about anything electrical. But I did have a fling with a married women (who was 12 years older than I was at the time) while I worked there (she worked in another department), so I had that going for me, which was nice.
 
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