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When Sears Was a Retail Star,
Not Losing $1B in Six Months

ABC News, by Susanna Kim

Original Article

Posted By:Pluperfect, 8/23/2014 4:22:34 AM

Sears was once a sparkling star of the retail world going back to the days before there was such a thing as a chain store, but now it is best known as a venerable brand in a steady decline. Sears Holdings, the parent of the namesake department store and Kmart, announced this week a loss of more than $500 million over the last three months. Similar losses in the previous quarter means the 128-year-old firm has lost almost $1 billion in the last six months. Eddie Lampert, CEO of Sears Holdings since January 2013, called his firm´s second quarter earnings


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Reply 1 - Posted by: flowerladytoo, 8/23/2014 5:05:14 AM     (No. 9977378)

Sears sold out to Kmart...and since then it´s been nothing but downhill. My hubby used to swear by their craftsman hand tools. Now, they are cheap, made in china junk. Their diehard batteries are no longer good. They don´t care about customer service and their warranty and extended warranty service is a joke. My sister in law had to shame them on their facebook page to finally get her almost new refrigerator fixed, along with scores of others who post on their daily. They told her they had ONE person to cover the three state area where she lives. ONE!! They are going to fold..it´s just a matter of time.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Blue hen1, 8/23/2014 5:56:15 AM     (No. 9977385)

Stick a fork in them

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Reply 3 - Posted by: judy, 8/23/2014 6:23:51 AM     (No. 9977391)

Kenmore Elite is still the best appliances made. Sears is a great store. I think their problem is too much competition.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: provide, 8/23/2014 6:58:35 AM     (No. 9977406)

Sears now exists in my town as a small appliance outlet. Kmart holds the rest.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: Fiesta del sol, 8/23/2014 7:08:28 AM     (No. 9977412)

Even the Kenmore appliances aren´t that great anymore. It´s all Chinese made junk. Half of the "Kenmore" stuff is really made by Whirlpool. I used to be a loyal Kenmore customer, but now I´m just as likely to use Best Buy. If it´s all made in China, and it´s all going to break in three years, what´s the point?

Agree, #1, the KMart connection killed them. I wouldn´t buy any clothing at Sears. The women´s selection is so dowdy.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: chumley, 8/23/2014 7:18:06 AM     (No. 9977421)

They are not my first choice when I want to buy an appliance. Long gone are the days when their overprices were offset by good quality and lack of competition. Now that we have the internet, you can get the best price from hundreds of sellers and have it delivered to your door.
I bought a Craftsman rider mower six years ago and have had to rebuild the deck and steering twice. Have you seen the prices on their parts? I just paid almost $50 for a drive belt that turns out to be an oddball length so not available anywhere else. I´m sure some designer thought that was very clever. Too bad I´ll be buying another brand next time.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: uno, 8/23/2014 7:32:14 AM     (No. 9977436)

My motto: Haven´t been to a Sears ini Years!
The only reason I say that is because I don´t know what rhymes with decades...

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Reply 8 - Posted by: GringoinQuito, 8/23/2014 8:33:11 AM     (No. 9977487)

My grandfather and father both retired from Sears as managers. My grandfather worked for them for 40 years and my father,35 years. I worked for them while in college. At one time Sears was a great company, but now it has really gone downhill. So sad to witness the decline of an American institution.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: tank, 8/23/2014 9:07:53 AM     (No. 9977550)

Can´t even get a decent poncho there anymore.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: lazlototh, 8/23/2014 9:29:02 AM     (No. 9977577)

There is a well-maintained Sears near me in Danbury CT but I never end up buying anything there. I agree re: Craftsman. Move your manufacturing from the US to China and I won´t buy the tools. There are great tools made in the US if you go to stillmadeinusa.com - Grit your teeth and buy Snap-on at extreme prices (but at least you don´t have to re-buy after they break in a year like Chinese tools), or go to Wright Tools - or if you must, a lot of German tools are great. As for cheaper tools, if you have to buy them Kobalt is really better quality. Beyond that, Sears just has no reason for being, and Kmart - the stores have smelled like a mix of stale popcorn and death for so long I can´t remember anything different. Too bad - I hate to see any business die but the problems in this entity are so huge and have been evident for so long that they either can´t be fixed or the people running the company aren´t the right people to fix them or both.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: zephyrgirl, 8/23/2014 9:42:37 AM     (No. 9977590)

My family owned Sears stock from the great depression until I sold mine after the merger with Kmart. It was once a great company, but not anymore.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: ronbet, 8/23/2014 9:58:40 AM     (No. 9977608)

Sears spent years trying to figure out what they wanted to be. They knew they no longer wanted to be Sears. Finally, they decided they wanted to be K-Mart. Sadly, they made the wrong decision.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: ramona, 8/23/2014 11:59:00 AM     (No. 9977771)

Our neighborhood Sears Hardware/Appliance store was closed last month. I will miss this convenient alternative to the big box stores. But Sears badly mismanaged this store - employees, always friendly, have said for years that the parts they ordered simply wouldn´t be sent and they were often in the position of having to tell customers that they didn´t know when shipments would be in. This store was well-supported by our community and I am sorry for those who lost their jobs and for all of us who have lost this once fine resource. Shame on the corporate hacks who diminished a once-great retail giant.
Ramona (the Pest)

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Reply 14 - Posted by: old north state, 8/23/2014 12:40:00 PM     (No. 9977825)

Sears Holding was a real estate play betting that Sears/Kmart land was more valuable than the retail businesses. The play was to monetize(sell) the real estate as individual stores failed. The holding company of investing hot shot Eddie Lampert has no interest in maintaining the brand.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: SouthSanAntonio, 8/23/2014 12:43:43 PM     (No. 9977831)

We have several Sears stores here in Austin. To put in bluntly, they are just nasty.

Their employees are generally your average minimum-wage working younger people, with no real people skills, no real motivation to work hard, and not much of a clue if you ask them a question. They clearly don´t want to be there, but it´s probably the only job they can get this side of Wal-Mart.

The quality of merchandise, and the overall "feeling" you get walking into a Sear´s store, is much closer to Wal-Mart than Macy´s or even Kohl´s.

I still buy a fair share of Craftsman tools, though the quality is not what it once was. And we bought our last washing machine there.

But I really can´t say that I would ever go out of my way to shop there again, or would miss them in the least if they just quietly faded away.

Don´t get me wrong, they are an American company, so hope they find some way to turn it around. But I just don´t see it happening.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: lylacat, 8/23/2014 1:37:19 PM     (No. 9977890)

I bought a metal bed on-line from Sears; it was shipped by UPS; it had been opened and taped shut about six times, as everyone used a different tape. I opened it; it had missing parts, jelly on the headframe, and one long piece was bent so that it would fit into the package. They told me to take it to UPS to ship it back, so I did and UPS quoted $200 for shipping, and UPS would not honor Sears guarantee to pay postage; so I called Sears to pick it up. They did, but it took over six months for me to get my refund, as I had to call several times; I wrote three letters, and when they realized I was not going away, they gave me my money back.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: Toledo, 8/23/2014 1:39:37 PM     (No. 9977893)

I miss their huge catalogues

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Reply 18 - Posted by: NorthernDog, 8/23/2014 2:02:59 PM     (No. 9977908)

As the article hints at, Sears was once ´all things to all people´. You could even buy a self-assemble house from Sears in the early 1900s! But they´ll probably be gone by the end of the decade.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: bighambone, 8/23/2014 2:04:19 PM     (No. 9977909)

What does the last paragraph in the article mean? Would the average shopper be able to translate whatever it is supposed to mean?

Some years ago I painted my house with Sears Weather Beater paint. When I recently returned to Sears to purchase some more of the same color paint, I was told that Sears no longer sells paint and that the Weather Beater line of paint no longer exists.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: zeldafitzg, 8/23/2014 10:22:03 PM     (No. 9978274)

Oh, I remember when the hardware/tools departments in Sears were just the place to go to get good advice about what was needed for the job. These departments were staffed by people (usually men) who knew what they were doing.

And customer service was the very best. You could count on Sears to stand behind their merchandise. For this reason, we bought most of our appliances at Sears.

No more, very sad.

Last year we needed a new dishwasher, and our local Sears appliance store had the best price. So we gladly bought there, although it was not a Kenmore. Actually, I don´t know if Kenmore dishwashers still exist.

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