OT: Sear and K-mart liquidating - Page 2
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 50
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Apex, NC
    Posts
    1,460
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    725

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob-J-H View Post
    Now how are we going to have an outhouse, without a Sears catalogue. Time are rough.
    Ipads are the new Sears catalogue, replacing the old-time magazine rack....

  2. Likes Mud liked this post
  3. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    southern Or.
    Posts
    639
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    657
    Likes (Received)
    468

    Default

    Ipads are a little harder to wipe with !

  4. Likes Milland, Larry Dickman liked this post
  5. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    West Coast, USA
    Posts
    7,544
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    465
    Likes (Received)
    5012

    Default

    Carbonbl has it mostly right. However, the downturn started before Eddie Lampert (the hedge fund operator who bought K-Mart and then used that to leverage a buy out of Sears).

    I used to do seminars now and then on new product development and manufacturing. The Sears catalogs, going back over a hundred years, were a sort of illustrated diary of consumer trends and tastes. The company had an amazing run.

    Closest thing to it now is Amazon -- and who knows how long that will last. In an alternative universe -- with Sears' "Prodigy" successful -- it could have been Amazon. Sears shut its catalog down in 1993, but didn't really bother to try what Amazon began in 1994.

    For over forty years Sears has illustrated most everything that became wrong (and is still wrong) about the "financialization" of US industry. We turned from trying to provide decent goods and services for customers to CEOs and financial operators trying to make a quick buck.

    In the early 70's, Sears management decided it needed a monument to corporate ego and real estate investment (Chicago Sears Tower). This was 30 years before Eddie Lampert.

    By the 80's it was deciding to be more of a finance company (buying Dean Witter, creating the Discover Card). Lots of US companies (GM and GE credit for example) were going this route for a quick buck; eventually at their customers', employees', and their own expense.

    At one point I did a couple of mini studies of attempts to evolve and differentiate basic products, whose designs really hadn't much changed in a hundred years (e.g. "Crescent-type" adjustable wrenches and micrometers). Sears (who simply bought and marketed these) was full of stupid buying, specing, and marketing errors beginning around the 1980.

    The adjustable wrenches are kind of interesting, because they're sort of like a "canary in a coal mine" in terms of predicting when one nation will turn away from basic manufacturing and another will turn their attention toward it. There were times when the quality rapidly increased from Japan, then Mexico, Taiwan, and China. As for a decrease -- nearly two decades ago, a cheaper Sears Chinese-built adjustable wrench had better fit and finish than the 2x priced "Craftsman" ones.

    I don't recall when Sears sold its replacement parts operation to a third party -- probably two or three decades ago. Management apparently thought no one, say the contractors and mechanics formerly buying Craftsman tools, would care and they could make a quick buck and earn a bonus. But it took just once when a contractor found that things like a replacement electric drill cord or brushes now cost 3x as much to never buy again. The electric and pneumatic tool line started a decline right then. In hundreds of ways Sears management stopped trying to serve customers and worked, instead, to pocket a quick buck.

    Sears also abused the brand equity in the Craftsman name in other ways -- making things like barbecue aprons branded Craftsman -- both built overseas and without the warranty. Stupid brand extensions are just one more way to loot a company -- before guys like Eddie Lampert made it a profession with its very own special "carried interest" tax breaks. Others will have their stories about the decline in quality - ratchets failed and miserably replaced and so on.

    The great shame in my mind is that we, as a country, should surely have learned our lesson -- at least by 2008. Instead, we're still running too may of our businesses -- and the country -- as if they were reality TV shows where all that matters is screwing someone else (customers, long term investors, citizens) in pursuit of transitory fame and fortune.

  6. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Arizona
    Posts
    271
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    227
    Likes (Received)
    122

    Default

    Great additional context PeteM. I didn't mean to imply that Lampert was the only bad actor in the story, or that Sears is an innocent victim. Certainly these types of bad corporate governance are/have been endemic to much of the American economy, not just to hedge-fund owned corporations.

  7. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Country
    UNITED KINGDOM
    Posts
    1,694
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    781

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TGTool View Post
    I hope it makes room in the marketplace for more deserving companies. This is a free market after all where capital moves towards the businesses offering what people want.
    This is wishful thinking, I am afraid. Wall Street will not allow it.

  8. Likes Bobw liked this post
  9. #26
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Texas
    Posts
    2,599
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3052
    Likes (Received)
    479

    Default

    Yes that has been the case here. Looking at the people who built tremendous companies and fortunes it took capital and markets for their goods and very often helping others to prosper who would bring a return on the investments in others. Like transportation of goods to towns by railways and later included roads. There were the efforts to branch off the main railroad lines to connect cities with rapid transportation of people plus goods. Private titans of progress could see where they wanted to connect the country together by rail.

    This helped greatly in America becoming a superpower. The attitude of the great businessmen was to build up and earn on their going project not to run something into the ground robbing it and making it non productive. Productive builds a country toward being great.

  10. Likes Bobw liked this post
  11. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    Posts
    1,249
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    81
    Likes (Received)
    647

    Default

    I heard an interesting talk 30 or so years ago, by a social worker talking about"systems thinking" in that field. That is, that things are connected to other things and that "everything has to go somewhere". So, in his terms, a kid who gets whaled at home can't get a re-balance at home so may act out in school. If he can't re-balance at school he may be a delinquent in the neighborhood.

    So how does that relate to Sears (or other businesses)? If they don't recognize that their constituents are not just their stockholders, but also their employees, their customers, and even the communities they operate in, the other stakeholders will re-balance the scales for them. Generally not in their best interest the same way the stakeholders' interests have been dissed by the corporation.

  12. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Posts
    1,099
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    798
    Likes (Received)
    422

    Default

    Sears went broke here in Canada about a year ago. I needed some new jeans and some other things went to the "Liquidation Sale" They had raised all the regular prices significantly before the 40% off. There were no significant deals to be found. Despite this there were huge lineups of people getting "deals". I walked to the other end of the mall and got better normal sale prices and didn't have to line up and pick things off the floor.


    To me Sears has not been a serious tool store for about 30 years or even more.

  13. Likes Steven-Canada, steve45 liked this post
  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    Ontario
    Posts
    398
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    908
    Likes (Received)
    235

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    I believe Stanley now owns the Craftsman name. I don't know what they will do with it. We had a Farm store that carried Craftsman for a few years. Now they are moving it out and going to Milwaukee and Dewalt (also Stanley) hand tools.

    Craftsman branded tools are now at Lowes

    CRAFTSMAN(R) Tools Now Available At Lowe's Stores Nationwide And Lowes.com

  15. #30
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    413
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3
    Likes (Received)
    75

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pattnmaker View Post
    Sears went broke here in Canada about a year ago. I needed some new jeans and some other things went to the "Liquidation Sale" They had raised all the regular prices significantly before the 40% off. There were no significant deals to be found. Despite this there were huge lineups of people getting "deals". I walked to the other end of the mall and got better normal sale prices and didn't have to line up and pick things off the floor.


    To me Sears has not been a serious tool store for about 30 years or even more.
    Hello.

    This is a normal strategy done by the liquidation company. I dont think it was Sears itself who was doing it but rather a 3rd party. In a way a good demonstration of what a messed up situation we are in.

  16. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    N. Virginia
    Posts
    47
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2

    Default

    My first credit card as a teenager in the 60's was with Sears. I think my parents may have cosigned, don't remember. I was really frustrated when they wanted to convert it to a Mastercard (sometime in the 80's or 90's I think), it felt like losing a long friend.

    Times move on ... .

    Alex

  17. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Central Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,876
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    769
    Likes (Received)
    496

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    When I started working as a mechanic 18ish years ago, I bought tons of Craftsman tools. At the time they were mostly being made by Danaher/Apex and many nearly identical tools were sold as Armstrong, Matco, Napa, Allen, and KD. They weren't great, but they were mostly US made.

    Anyway, I figured I would use them until they broke and then replace them with better. I still have nearly all of them in use, though now they are mostly my mobile/back up tools.
    Me too, started with Craftsman, and later was buying NAPA. The local NAPA used to run a annual tool sale. From what I recall we got them at just above store cost. The profit for the sale was the sales bonus the store got. My family alone would often be close to $1000 in sales. They also ran a sale on filters so we'd buy a years worth of filters for the farm.

  18. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Webster Groves, MO
    Posts
    7,113
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1780
    Likes (Received)
    3214

    Default

    Another example- I have a set of ignition wrenches I bought from Sears in 1958. They are very well made, the equal of the top brands. A few years ago a friend and I were working on a piece of electronic equipment in his shop, using his identical set of wrenches. I remarked on how much I liked them and he agreed, having owned them since his college days. Then I lamented that a couple of mine were lost. The next Christmas he presented me a new set, also from Sears. He must have not looked at them very closely. They are absolute junk, just punched out of sheet stock with a blanking die. The rims on the box ends are so thick, presumably because the soft metal needs the reinforcement, that they will not fit in a lot of places. I may shed a few tears for the Sears that once was, but not for the one that is.

    Bill

  19. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    jacksonville,fl.
    Posts
    1,056
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    896
    Likes (Received)
    351

    Default

    I still have most of the Craftsman tool set my mother bought me in 1957,lost a few but never broke any that I remember.

  20. #35
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    South Central PA
    Posts
    13,423
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2159
    Likes (Received)
    3347

    Default

    They are absolute junk, just punched out of sheet stock with a blanking die. The rims on the box ends are so thick, presumably because the soft metal needs the reinforcement, that they will not fit in a lot of places.

    Bill[/QUOTE]

    I've seen that set. They are horrible. They aren't good enough to sell at Harbor Freight.
    I have a set of the old ones I was given in a toolset as a child for Christmas. Wish I could buy another.

  21. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    West Coast, USA
    Posts
    7,544
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    465
    Likes (Received)
    5012

    Default

    Just took a look at today's BBC news feed. Articles on both Sears and Amazon. Turns out Sears just might get a partial reprieve from bankruptcy. The article also noted how Lampert put Sears in debt (lining his own pockets along the way -- pretty much the hedge fund playbook) and basically wants others to suffer the losses.

    Also turns out that Amazon isn't just our largest retailer, but -- at least for today -- the most valuable public company in the world. Whether or not you like it's founder and chairman (Bezos) and also our richest person -- Amazon has thrived mainly by thinking first about serving rather than screwing its customers. For example, it probably has the most generous return policy (kind of like the old old Sears) in the industry, along with an investment in reviews, reasonable prices, quick shipping, Amazon-branded products, a fast and reliable cloud, etc.

    Interestingly, at least to me, while Sears has totally screwed up selling through physical locations (its empty stores), Amazon just bought near 500 stores (through the Whole Foods acquisition, where it lowered some prices) and is now using them as delivery locations. Difference between the con artist mentality (Sears under Lampert, MSC under the heirs, possibly the debt being taken on by Harbor Freight, the folks who brought us the 2008 Great Recession, the various Trump brand extensions to vodka, airlines, university, ties, casinos, etc. etc. ) and the currently far more successful Amazon -- is that the latter has at least stared with the notion of better serving its customers.

  22. Likes TeachMePlease liked this post
  23. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    central NC
    Posts
    2,561
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    30
    Likes (Received)
    656

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 9100 View Post
    Another example- I have a set of ignition wrenches I bought from Sears in 1958. They are very well made, the equal of the top brands. ............
    Yep, a couple of years ago I learned that the grease in ratchets doesn't last forever so I disassembled all my ratcheting tools, cleaned out the old grease (which was starting to get like candle wax in a couple) and regreased them. My big torque wrench which was bought by me new had the mfg date stamped on the beam under the adjusting handle - May 1975. Yes, they were good quality tools up until K-mart bought them.

    Steve

  24. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    5,494
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    470
    Likes (Received)
    2338

    Default

    It's bad that the company was recently mismanaged, but long before that - Sears just sucked. I can remember going into Sears in the 1970's and it sucked. Someplace around here there's a bench grinder from the late 70's that is an embarrassment - it's a big aluminum rectangle and I suspect the shitty motor rotor inside is also a rectangle.


    So I guess what I'm saying is...they were ripe for the pickin'. The hard thing to believe is that they made it this long. It's been many decades since they were any good.

    The only company I can think of worse than Sears is....Black and Decker!

  25. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Edison Washington USA
    Posts
    10,283
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    959
    Likes (Received)
    5304

    Default

    there was a time when I bought a lot of tools from Sears.
    but that time was 1972.

  26. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Temecula, Ca
    Posts
    2,692
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1228
    Likes (Received)
    3528

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    It's bad that the company was recently mismanaged, but long before that - Sears just sucked. I can remember going into Sears in the 1970's and it sucked. Someplace around here there's a bench grinder from the late 70's that is an embarrassment - it's a big aluminum rectangle and I suspect the shitty motor rotor inside is also a rectangle.


    So I guess what I'm saying is...they were ripe for the pickin'. The hard thing to believe is that they made it this long. It's been many decades since they were any good.

    The only company I can think of worse than Sears is....Black and Decker!
    When I was a little kid, the very first time I heard my old man say the word "Fuck" was in reference to "Sears"

  27. Likes digger doug, TeachMePlease, GregSY liked this post

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •