Now where will I buy my Craftsman tool? The end is near for Sears.

Discussion in 'The Green Room' started by Dinner, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Dinner

    Dinner 2012 & 2014 Master Prognosticator

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    http://m.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/The-end-of-Sears-is-very-near-6674088.php

    Sears has been a super star of American retail sales since the 19th century when they invented the catalog business and became the single largest retailer on Earth. In the 20th century they became the first big box store and just about every mall in America had a Sears in it. That is all looking like a thing of the past though as the company circles the drain. It hasn't made money in over a decade.

    The internet has taken many of their sales hitting their bottom line, a whole series of corporate raiders have attacked the company and left it with staggering debt, while past CEOs added still more debt by trying to merge their way to success by buying companies like Kmart and Land's End. Both of those retailers were also in trouble and merging to failing companies doesn't seem to make a good company.

    They are talking about a year, maybe two, before Sears goes out of business.
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  2. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    Amazing - I really like Sears. Will Montgomery Wards be the next store from my youth to go away? Woolworths was a big deal back in the day too.
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  3. Dinner

    Dinner 2012 & 2014 Master Prognosticator

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  4. gul

    gul Revolting Beer Drinker Administrator Formerly Important

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    The only thing I ever buy at Sears is Levis, but I suppose I can find them somewhere else.
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  5. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    Yes, pretty much any major department store.
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  6. ed629

    ed629 Morally Inept Banned

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    Where the fuck will the Brady's go now?

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  7. Quest

    Quest not leaving Staff Member Administrator

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    I worked a summer in a Sears warehouse back when I was 19-20. It was definitely an experience.

    Btw, the other big employer in that town is a K-Mart warehouse. They are fucked! :doh:
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  8. Larry

    Larry 18 wheels a rolling!! Deceased Member Moderator

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    I worked at Sears part time when I was married, I was shocked at the waste they had. We had BUCKETS of paint, and tools we just threw away because workers just messed them up. Our sales men and women had no clue what they were doing. We ALWAYS had stuff on sale we didn't have in stock (Like TV's and VCR's). Sales staff would downright LIE to sell something, like saying assembly was free on stuff it was NOT. Sears is still hanging on here in town, Oddly I did go to K-mart today but we had to go to Springboro (Bout 15 miles away) because ours closed. Our K=mart is now a Tractor Supply and a Big Lots. Our Wards closed a LONG time ago (1985) but the building is now a weekend gun show.
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  9. Quest

    Quest not leaving Staff Member Administrator

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    Still a couple of 1940s-era Sears stores in Chicago, cramped showrooms, narrow aisles, lots of odd little features you'll never see in a suburban mall store. I'd be sorry to see them close.
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  10. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    My local Sears is sadly in a suburban mall. :( I did have a kinda cool adventure in that Sears a few years back: my daughter was in there with her then boyfriend and he got physical with her (grabbed her neck and slapped her or whatever) and then hauled ass. She called me from there and I had to go down and get her to bring her home and she got interviewed by the cops. She told the cops where she ran from him in the Sears and according to one of the employees it would be on the surveilience tape. Thus there would be...you know....proof and shit. The cop didn't seem to interested. This Augusta (Richmond County) so they don't get too revved up unless there is blood flowing or folks dead or whatever, Plus the the boyfriend and my daughter lived in Columbia County - this would be a real deal-breaker (crime in one county but the suspect & victims live in another) & the county cops don't care much for each other or trust each other. Factor in the kids are under 18 and you know this is going nowhere. Bottom line, my daughter dumped him like a hot potato. Physical aggression against a female is a no-go! The kid's mom is kind of unbalanced too. Red flags all over this relationship!
    Now she's married to a guy who has never shown any propensity to violence. Anger? Of course, my daughter can drive you nuts, just like my wife can. But you have to keep your temper in check.
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  11. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    This thread interests me. Because it interests me when a solid company with a lot of capital--financial, positional, and reputational--somehow manages to piss it away and go down the toilet. I've loved Sears. It has meant to me, a kind of upscale working-class place to shop. I actually bought things at the Lake St. Sears in Minneapolis. Heck, got my tires done at the Sears Auto Center there. Popped over to Uncle Edgar's Horror and Uncle Hugo's Sci Fi bookstores next door while I was waiting.

    Sears doesn't have Auto Centers any more.

    I remember "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (sponsored by Sears)" when they'd go to Sears and get a bunch of cool stuff for the house they were renovating. At some point they stopped renovating homes and just tore them down to build absurd impractical monstrosities.

    "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (sponsored by Sears)" isn't on anymore.

    I used to get my motorcycle boots at Sears. They were a cool gored 1/2 boot with leather strips over the elastic and a harness detail. When I was 8 I thought harness boots were awesome. From about 12-35 I thought they were stupid and pointless. Then I started riding a motorcycle and realized that, if I put a bike down and couldn't get my foot up out of the way, that was 2 chunks of leather, a bunch of rivets, and a bit steel ring between my ankle and the pavement and really bought into them. I mean it was a cheap shitty boot that didn't last more than a year, but it was comfortable, looked cool, did what I wanted it to do, and was $40. And after a year I could pay another $40 to pick up another pair.

    Until the year I couldn't.

    A few years back, my last pair of Sears motorcycle boots shit the bed. As always, the sole started to come off the upper. So I popped into Sears to get the replacement. They didn't have it. Couldn't find it anywhere. To her credit, a sales monkey eventually sidled over and was largely useless. But I was wearing my dying boots and she'd brought me to a terminal. So I pulled a boot off, found a reference number, and had her look it up. It turned out that they had the boot.

    In brown.

    Who on earth wears a brown motorcycle boot?

    That was the last thing I still bought at Sears. "We can order it for you and have it delivered," she offered. I stared at her like she'd just sprouted a second head. "I can order it and have it delivered myself. If I wanted that, there'd be no point in a store, would it? I could go to Amazon." I forget her answer. It was stupid, useless, and pointless. I still park in the lot next to Sears out of habit and from time to time I stop in to see if they carry my boot in black yet and, inexplicably, they still don't. And I've totally given up on Sears.

    Which is sad, because to bring it all back to the thread title (and the late, lamented Lake St Sears--Sears doesn't have a store on Lake St. in Minneapolis anymore), one time I had a Craftsman ratchet shit the bed on me. I remembered something about a "forever" guarantee so on a whim, I brought it into the Lake St. Sears and found myself a salesman in the tool section. "Can I help you?" "Yeah. This ratchet doesn't work anymore." He took it from me and tested it out. "No, it doesn't." He walked over to the bin where they had ratchets, took one out, handed it to me, and said "Have a nice day." No receipt. No paperwork. Nothing. Nobody does that anymore.
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  12. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Wonderful, Loving Husband & Father

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    I thought Sears had been circling the drain for eons. Yet another thing people blamed Walmart for. Though ironically when it comes to quality of goods, you might as well go to the tens of thousands of Dollar Stores around the country. Forget Craftsman. If you want tools any of that no name stuff they sell at the Dollar Store will do most jobs just as well and be a fraction of the price. The real thing they lack in Dollar Stores is a range of hardline and softline items. If you're big and tall you won't find clothes at a Dollar Store or need any kind of specialized tools.

    Still, I started working for Walmart back in 1988 and many of the most recently opened Dollar Stores carry as much merchandise as we did back then.

    I agree about book stores. I've heard places like Barnes & Noble might start charging a cover charge because of people coming in and perusing the books and then ordering them online.

    What I would miss about Barnes & Noble though is the magazines that you can't get anywhere else. Especially those published in the United Kingdom.
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  13. gul

    gul Revolting Beer Drinker Administrator Formerly Important

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    @Volpone, my local Sears still has an auto center -- I'm going there later today for a new tire. But overall, I don't often shop there. For tools, I go to Home Depot, for clothing, I go to a specialty men's clothing store (K&G), and most other things once purchased at Sears are either Internet, Costco, or Best Buy.

    The local Sears is in a sad mall and is generally kind of sad. What I just missed, moving to Boston in 1988, was a grand Sears of the first order:

    [​IMG]

    It closed a few years earlier, and sat empty for nearly 20, before being repurposed as a movie theater and some street level retail. Now they are building some residential towers behind it, and the building itself has landmark status. What is there now, is probably a better use than a Sears, but I would love to have seen it during the heyday.
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  14. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    Awesome Sears! That's kind of what I like about most of Europe, and some big cities in America. Pedestrian friendly downtown-ish old school shopping. My whole family really enjoyed the hell out of that in Germany and Italy. Suburban strip-mall cookie-cutter fighting traffic shopping drains your soul and humanity. :(
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  15. gul

    gul Revolting Beer Drinker Administrator Formerly Important

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    Ironically, that was in an area that was fairly pedestrian unfriendly until recently. There is a subway station next to it, but aside from the Sears, there was just a lot of (mostly closed) garages and auto showrooms, all one story buildings, set back from the street. In only the past ten years has this changed (beginning with the movie theater). Today there are thousands of apartments/condos either built or under construction, along with the bars and restaurants you'd expect in a populated area, but it was mostly a dead zone before that.
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  16. ed629

    ed629 Morally Inept Banned

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    The last time I can even remember buying something at Sears is in 2002(3?). It was a washer and dryer set for the apartment I had in NY. It was awesome having an apartment with a washer/dryer hookup as it meant I no longer needed to go to a laundromat. The only reason I even got the set there, out of several stores that I could buy the same set from, the Sears store I picked them up at was the only retail location that had that set in stock.
  17. gul

    gul Revolting Beer Drinker Administrator Formerly Important

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    Fucking #SearsFail is why they are going out of business. I call and they tell me they have the tire I need. I drop the car, then get a call from them to say they can't find the tire, even though inventory says one is in stock. Well, you just lost the sale, and I'm now at a local tire chain that also costs less. Fuck them. :mad:
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  18. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    HOLD UP! Before you get tires at Sears, take some advice from Ron White............:lol:
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  19. shootER

    shootER Insubordinate...and churlish Administrator

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    What's really cool is that RonWhite only follows 30 people on Twitter.

    As of yesterday, I'm one of them. :diacanu:
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  20. gul

    gul Revolting Beer Drinker Administrator Formerly Important

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    Most of the celebs who follow me follow tens of thousands, but there is a very successful baseball player who follows me and about a hundred others.
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  21. Captain X

    Captain X Responsible cookie control

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    To be fair, there was a really sharp decline in quality from Sears a while back, so they were losing business even before internet business was much of a thing.
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  22. Dinner

    Dinner 2012 & 2014 Master Prognosticator

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    When I was 15.5 my dad and I was putting a rebuilt engine into a 1974 VW Bug that had previously been my older sister's but she forgot to put oil in it. My dad said if I rebuilt it then it would be mine (he helped) and those old VW air cooled engines were so simple a teenager with no experience could do it (just follow the step by step instructions in the Chilton's guide). While doing so I broke one of the sockets trying to get a rusted old bolt off, my dad said he bought that old craftsmen socket when he was a teenager, I took it back to Sears and they just handed me a new one.

    They had the best warrent in the business and a life time guarantee really meant life time.
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  23. Forbin

    Forbin Do you feel fluffy, punk?

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    I have a B&N discount card and get coupons in the mail, and there's a B&N store right next to work, which I walk to often. But when I buy books online, for some indefinable reason, I use Amazon instead.
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  24. Shirogayne

    Shirogayne Trolling No Jutsu Formerly Important

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    One nitpick from the OP: Sears didn't buy out Kmart. Kmart bought THEM out. I distinctly remember this because Kmart themselves had come off a near bankruptcy and one of the Sears higher ups was all but crying crocodile tears about how embarrassing it was that they got bought by a low end retail store in the article I read.

    Stil.... :shrug: I won't be surprised if all the other department stores are all gone in the next 30 years. There have been no major malls built in the US since the economy took a nosedive in '07 and online business is booming. Some thongs, like makeup, require a live human to help with, but many others, like books? Not so much.
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  25. gul

    gul Revolting Beer Drinker Administrator Formerly Important

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    Correct, but due to branding issues, the new company is Sears Holding, inc. Even KMart knew that Sears had a better reputation.
    Incorrect, though I suppose it depends on how you define major mall. This place a few miles from my house was built in 2008, and at least three other similar projects in or around Boston have been built since then or are under construction.
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  26. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    Our old urban Sears closed last year. Sad to see it go.
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  27. Volpone

    Volpone Zombie Hunter

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    That's pretty much the Sears at Lake Street in Minneapolis. By the time I shopped there the bottom floor was still fairly comprehensive with some overflow stuff stashed up on the second floor, IIRC. It makes me wonder what shopping there was like in its prime. Were all the other floors office space, or was it really packed all the way up?

    The other great old department store in Minneapolis that closed before my time was the Montgomery Wards. I actually shopped there. But for $1 LP records at a closeout record store for old radio station records. I've got a neat version of Joan Jett's "I Love Rock & Roll" that has a cover of "The Little Drummer Boy" fromt there.
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  28. Dinner

    Dinner 2012 & 2014 Master Prognosticator

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    Montgomery Wards used to have good deals. When they were closing in the early 90's I bought a zero degree mummy sleeping bag which I still have for $14.95 on close out. It was a Coleman synthetic bag.
  29. TheLonelySquire

    TheLonelySquire Fresh Meat

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    Well they certainly haven't invested in the KMART in my area. It's unbelievable, the store seems to use 40 watt lighting, merchandise piled everywhere, and the employees are less than top of the line models. I haven't been to a SEARS in years either.
  30. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    I think Craftsman will live on. Someone will buy the brand during the eventual bankruptcy sale.

    I did visit Sears Town Center the other day to exchange my 3/8" craftsman rachet purchased in 1974. 40 years of using it as a hammer and it didn't last. Place was a ghost-town.
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