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Sears Declares Bankruptcy   10 comments

Posted at 1:15 am in commentary

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Well, in a surprise to noone, Sears has declared bankruptcy:

Sears Holdings Corp. filed early Monday for bankruptcy protection from creditors, marking the collapse of a company that dominated American retailing for much of the 20th century.

The retailer, which sought chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y., reached a deal with its lenders that will allow the 125-year-old company to keep hundreds of its stores open for now.

As part of the deal, Sears is expected to close at least 150 stores immediately, according to people familiar with the matter. Currently, the company operates roughly 700 Sears and Kmart stores. It employs about 70,000 people.

Of course Sears has basically already exited the Midlands, but there are still a couple of Kmart stores hanging on in the area.

Anyway, it's a far cry from the days of "As Solid As Sears", and it didn't really have to happen. If Walmart can do it, and Target can do it, that, at the least, proves it's possible. And one of the ironies is that probably about the time Amazon started to spin up, all the people at Sears who knew how to run a catalog operation were retiring..

Written by ted on October 16th, 2018

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10 Responses to 'Sears Declares Bankruptcy'

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  1. A while back, I read an interesting article about the parallels between Sears and Amazon. Sears started as a successful catalog, then diversified into brick and mortar... eventually being crushed by the overhead. I don't think Amazon killed them, but Sears has been unable to compete for years. No matter the category, someone else did it cheaper and better. Quality tools being a possible exception.

    Now Amazon has finally turned a profit as a modern day catalog - and is pushing into the brick and mortar world with the Whole Foods acquisition. I think they'd be better off with a delivery only grocery service that's price competitive with Walmart. It'll be interesting to see if history repeats itself.

    Heath

    16 Oct 18 at 12:04 pm

  2. I got my first matching set of Grrranimals and Toughskins from Sears as a kid. The Sears and Penney's catalogs are where I put my Christmas wish list together for Santa and it was long. I used to take my car to the Service center and was always satisfied with the work. I am a Craftsman and Kenmore and DieHard diehard even though they are owned, or manufactured by other brands now. Eddie Lampert did a Gordon Gecko on Sears Holding and ran it straight into the ground after a slow bleed even though he said he did all he could. Leverage, debt, Land's End, etc. Should have sold everything else, but the core brands of Craftsman, Die-Hard, and Kenmore and become a mall hardware store.

    palmettopanic

    16 Oct 18 at 3:36 pm

  3. My first credit card came from the Sears on Harden Street, and I think half the furniture in the house was from them. Not to mention the washer and dryer, lawn mower, tools and tires and shocks.

    We did very little with Sears after they moved to the mall. Anyone else follow this pattern?

    Joe Shlabotnik

    16 Oct 18 at 8:42 pm

  4. I'm pretty sure I posted this about last time last year, but I think it's worth another one. If you want to see old wishbooks from Sears, Penny's Montgomery Ward and others go to http://http://www.wishbookweb.com/

    I still have my Dad's table saw from the 60's and scroll saw from the 50's. They still work like a charm and will out cut anything you can buy today.

    I saw my first solar eclipse at 'Sears Town' on Harden. Late 60's, early 70's, not sure.

    Like palmettopanic, I made huge Christmas lists from the wish books. What is this I hear about Amazon mailing out physical wish books to customers this season?

    Homer

    16 Oct 18 at 9:13 pm

  5. Homer

    16 Oct 18 at 9:15 pm

  6. Several years ago Sears looked into divesting themselves of everything except Craftsman tools, Kennmore appliances and automotive goods and services, but decided to stick with soft lines. I think that had they tried the beforementioned approach they would not be in the boat they are in now because frankly those categories were only reasons I ever shopped at Sears in the last decade or so.

    Tom

    17 Oct 18 at 12:50 pm

  7. Sears did their own selves in..and Kmart didnt help either. When Sears moved from Harden St. to Columbia Mall, that's what did them in, or at least the start of their downward spiral. I think I went to the Sears Gas Station on the outter perimeter of Columbia Mall once or twice, but that's all I can remember.

    Del

    17 Oct 18 at 1:36 pm

  8. When you think of Dept. stores of the 60's, there was Kmart, Sears, Belk, Woolworth's, JC Penny, Grant, Dodds, White's, Tapp's and maybe a couple more..but all that's left of that group, is JC Penny and Belk. Everything else is gone now. But Sears has no one to blame except theirselves for the mess they got into.

    Del

    17 Oct 18 at 1:40 pm

  9. Man, we are living in strange times. I never thought I'd see the day there wasn't a Sears in almost every town or, at least, in most big cities.

    For a Gen X'er, like me, the Sears (and Penney's) catalogs at Christmas were what childhood dreams were made of. Your dad probably had Craftsman tools. Mom's fridge (or some appliance in the house) was likely a Kenmore.

    You know you're getting old when all the "standards" of your youth are disappearing. Not gonna lie, I miss malls as I remember them. They seem so different now and that's why I don't go.

    Lone Wolf

    18 Oct 18 at 10:47 am

  10. I dont miss Malls at all. The only reason Columbiana Mall is still doing well, is because of location, location, location. If it had been built elsewhere such as Dutch Square or Columbia Mall, it would be in the same demise as the others. Malls are a 70's and 80's thing mainly. Sears as a Company did their own selves in..no one to blame otherwise. I'm waiting for JC Penny to go next, but only time will tell.

    Del

    18 Oct 18 at 4:57 pm

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