Wednesday, October 17, 2018

My thoughts - - and what I have learned about the Sears Debacle, Sears stores closing, and their Bankruptcy

About Sears - - - much talk is going on about their recent declaration of Bankruptcy.

NPR had a great radio show about this story today. I listened to it in the car.

This photo reminds me of the Sears store closing at the local Mall now... I am sad about it.

I hope they can find another good Anchor Store for the Mall... I will miss Sears.



















Here is more information, with some soundbytes: https://www.npr.org/2018/10/15/657442174/bankruptcy-protection-may-be-sears-last-chance-for-survival.

I have heard from at least one FB friend about this subject. One says she had the same thing happen to her years ago that I did. I went to Sears to buy something, had my card, but was told it was too old to use. They dismissed me when I said I wanted to apply for another card. Were they getting rid of Sears Cards altogether? I didn't know the answer to that.

Another question I had at the time was, did Sears not want their customers to stay with them? I was puzzled. And, I must admit, angry, too. It seemed so strange at the time - - I remember thinking, well, they didn't really want my business. I didn't know if SOME people were still able to get Sears Cards, and I was just selected not to. I was kind of perturbed about it. But just wanted to leave the store, instead of asking more questions.

I didn't want to go back to Sears for a long time. By the time I got curious and went back, #6 below was going on. (The store just was not exciting to look at anymore. It was old-looking, and didn't seem to be kept up as well.)

Rumors abound now since the announcement of bankruptcy. Some blame the CEO who made some unwise decisions about the company. Is this true? Did others make some bad decisions, too?

Think about these things that happened - (which did not seem very sane or wise at the time to me and others...)

1. Getting rid of Craftsman Tools (unbelievable! Did this HAVE to happen?) - - and then Kenmore! Then their Die-hard Battery. <Three great brands>.
2. Closing their car repair section (locally)
3. Not promoting a GREAT salesperson (A story from the radio show) - - which might have happened more than once...
4. Rumors of not taking good care of employees (I haven't found a story about this yet)... goes with #3...
5. Getting rid of their BIG Sears Catalog (that I and others liked) - and returning to a small one a couple of years ago - this could have been a major Bad Decision.
6. Not keeping their stores up, not repairing floors, ceilings, having "delayed maintenance" issues and not having enough stock and things to buy (I noticed this too at our local store in the last few years...)
7. Emphasizing trying to do online sales at the expense of retail stores (mentioned on the radio show today...)
8. Buying K-Mart (that must have cost a lot!) - and other businesses.
9. Not seeing the big picture - -  not changing with the times. Or doing it too slowly. (As I learned in the article, change was something Sears USED to do very well, and quickly, too).
10. Not welcoming customers and not allowing them to get or keep Sears Cards.

Here is a neat photo I found with a house you used to be able to order from Sears.

This is a pretty neat house. Note that not everything is included... "Price does not include cement, brick, or plaster."


What more will we discover about this situation? And will the next owner or the CEO be able to re-start the company? I wonder how much he and others have been getting paid all this time. Were they getting bad advice?

I also feel very bad for the employees there, of course. What a shock for many of them in the last few days.

Here is more information:

Oct. 15th, 2018: Sears' Extraordinary History: <CNN.com> https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2018/10/business/sears-timeline/index.html

April, 2018 <Fortune.com> Video and Article: (turn down your volume...) Sears CEO Eddie Lampert Pushes It to Sell Off More Crown Jewelshttp://fortune.com/2018/04/23/sears-eddie-lampert-kenmore/.

March, 2017: <Reuters> Sears' plan to sell brands no salve for financial woes
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sears-restructuring-brands-analysis/sears-plan-to-sell-brands-no-salve-for-financial-woes-idUSKBN16U2PX.

I definitely will be paying attention to this story.

Betsyanne

Onward and Upward!

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