Sears Canada Closing

Discussion in 'Shopping & Sales' started by Ann George, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. Ann George

    Ann George Active Member
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    Can't say that I'm surprised but all the Sears department stores here are closing down permanently. When we retired several years ago we downsized and bought all new Sears appliances for our new home. We bought what we thought were better quality appliances and expected them to last at least 10 years without any major issues. However, within 3-4 years we had serious problems with two of the appliances. Both times, we experienced the worst service ever... from Sears (long story!), and after consulting other appliance repair businesses decided it would be necessary to replace one appliance and then another. Afterwards, we heard similar stories from others, both in our own small community and online. Since then I've rarely shopped at any Sears store and would definitely not purchase any appliance, large or small, from them ever again. I do feel for the employees, some of whom have been with Sears for decades, who have lost not only their jobs but according to the news media, appear to be facing serious challenges in receiving any severance, pension etc.:mad:
     
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  2. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I believe that is happening here in the United States too.

    The last few times I shopped in Sears which was quite a few years ago...I did not find there clothes quality as good as in times before. And sheet sets and comforters were basically the same as what I saw at Walmart but with a bigger price tag.

    I used to love Sears and shopped there often...but somewhere along the line they stopped selling quality merchandise that you could depend on.
     
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  3. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    I bought many Sears appliances over the years. They were all top quality. They have (or had) a lifetime guarantee on their tools. I have a Kenmore vacuum cleaner that I have had for ages. My granddaughter bought me a fancy new one for a Christmas gift a couple of years ago. I still like my Kenmore one better. I use it instead of the new one. Don't tell her that, though. :D
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    A lot of the Sears stores in the US are closing too. For a company that began in mail order, I would have thought they would excel in the online shopping world, but they haven't been able to make the transition.
     
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  5. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Ann George
    I feel it is unfair to label Sears as the cause for your misfortune, assuming you bought Sears-branded, Kenmore, appliances. They also sell a variety of name-brand appliances, up to and including the top-quality, highest priced.

    On the obverse side, having been a Sears employee for 12 years, I must admit that I fell witness to some incredible mismanagement while there.
    Frank
     
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  6. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Shirley Martin
    My first wife bought me a Craftsman Circular Saw for Christmas our second year together, 1966. The saw still works perfectly! The switch was replaced once, understandably. Their selling point then: that model in testing cut through 10,000 2X4s without failing. Over 50 years' time, having built shop buildings, homes, additions, I've probably exceeded that number by several times!
    Frank
     
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  7. Harry Havens

    Harry Havens Well-Known Member
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    My brother went straight from the Marines to Coyne Tech and then to Sears as a service rep., tech or whatever. It was king of the hill for a long time and then by the time he retired 40 years later, in the late 90s, was on the way out. A lot of what Sears sold had Sears brand names, but were really manufactured by name brand companies to Sear's specs. Quality was once considered important, but fell off in later years. Craftsman tools were once considered top of the line. They've been sold to Stanley Black and Decker and it will likely go through... if Sears doesn't go bankrupt first.

    Sears ain't what it used to be... but neither am I.
     
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  8. Ann George

    Ann George Active Member
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    You're right we did buy Sears Kenmore appliances but the higher end, believing they would be problem free for some time. We replaced two of the appliances (after doing research through Consumer Report etc.) with some high end, non Sears brands, the best we could afford. Unfortunately a few years after replacing those we sold our home and as we were in a very difficult real estate market we included all appliances in the sale. In our next (ie. present ) home we do have one old Kenmore appliance that needed a repair earlier this year. When asked about the quality of new appliances in today's market, the repair guy, a senior BTW, told us that in his opinion the "average" appliance will need a major repair within 3-5 years of purchase. :( No wonder he's not retiring any time soon.
     
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  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    We have a set of Kenmore washer/dryers that have been doing well, and I have always loved Craftsman tools, although they are now owned by Stanley.
     
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  10. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Ann George ".... in his opinion the "average" appliance will need a major repair within 3-5 years of purchase. :("

    I have always gotten a little chuckle every time I have heard an expert make such prediction. Often, it was electronic equipment, the failure prediction claimed to be factory-induced, part of the plan: obsolescence by design!

    Such predictors have never revealed their sources: "thwip", pulled right out of the air, or crystal ball, future expectations guaranteed. NOBODY is good at predicting the future. Sorry for my rant, it's something I've always wondered about.
    Frank
     
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  11. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I do believe that major appliances and other things that used to last for many years are now made with less quality so they will last for less years and need fixing or replacing much sooner. Is this intentional by the manufacturers...I often think it is.
     
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  12. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Babs Hunt
    Legislation was introduced in Japan quite some time ago to restrict registration of vehicles in Tokyo to the maximum age of 5 years. This meant that, a buyer of a new vehicle was forced to scrap the car when it reached it's 5th. year. Whether that became law I cannot say. Surely, the instigators of such law will show statistical "proof" of it's reducing air pollution, when in fact, virtually ANY vehicle produced after the mid-'90s will continue to run as "clean" as new virtually forever. It HAS to; the computer ensures that!
    Frank
     
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  13. Harry Havens

    Harry Havens Well-Known Member
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    Japan has long had laws about vehicle inspections with inspections required at 5 years, then 7, 9, 11... then annually. Inspections include several dozen of item related to vehicle condition and driveability as well as air quality, which must be corrected and can run big bucks. Prior to the 5 years, the law requires the vehicle be serviced regularly by a government certified shop. The concept being the regular service checks would also correct any difficiencies prior to the 5 year inspection. Japan has a very limited used car market and cars are shipped to 3rd world countries, etc. for resale.

    Caveat... that was how I remember it years ago, although some parts may have changed by now. Also, it used to be required that a certification be provided that a guaranteed parking spot for vehicle prior to purchase.
     
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  14. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    Sears in our town closed. I didn't know until I drove to Target and noticed it seemed deserted so I googled it when I got home. The mall is sad to go into. I go to a walk in place there for hair cuts. I'm not a mall person anymore but certainly remember their heyday in the 80's. We would go to San Jose on occasion from Santa Cruz. Go to Macy's and walk the mall. The mall is now sparse and pathetic.
     
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  15. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Kitty Carmel
    We live in the 7th. largest County in the entire U.S.! Sparsely populated, it has only 3 towns of reasonably large size: Kingman, the County Seat, pop. 28,000, Lake Havasu City, pop. 53,000, and Bullhead City, pop. 39,000. Bullhead is directly across the Colorado River from Laughlin, Nevada, pop. 7,300. To my knowledge, Laughlin is the only city hereabouts having a real mall. It is about 20 years old, has over 100 stores, a 2-level affair in which the entire lower level is covered parking and food court, the upper being stores arranged like a square doughnut. 50+ of the stores are vacant. We are aware of it's condition not because we are shoppers, but rather because that big square is 1/3 mile around; we walk 5-10 laps several times weekly in summer, when the Riverwalk is just too hot. The past Recession had little effect on the mall, though it's ownership did change hands.

    Laughlin is primarily a tourist-based city, having no real productive business base if one excludes gambling resort hotels. It grew very rapidly after Don Laughlin ventured forth with the first large resort, his Riverside Hotel, starting very small in 1966, adding 2 large towers of rooms by the late '80s. It was predicted that Laughlin would quickly strip Bullhead City's growth status, and consequently Laughlin was speculatively overbuilt. The Recession of 5 or so years ago wreaked havoc on the real estate market. Homes, condos, town houses, and the like, fell in value by as much s 75%, all within a few-year timeframe. BHC, OTOH, doubled in population between 2000 and 2010, from 20,000 to 40,000. A very large contingency of old farts, like me, have settled here in retirement.

    Getting off track here. My old high school friend, Charlie from Chicago, visiting us recently, confirmed while we were at the mall, that the huge malls of Chicagoland were doing no better. Why? IMO, the public is fickle, largely. For example, a lush, highly-intriguing resort built by Sam Boyd of Sam's Town fame here in Laughlin in the '80s, was valued in 1992 at over $190 million; that property sold 3 years ago for $6.7 million!

    Frank
     
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  16. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    The Bangor, Maine shopping mall is in bankruptcy right now. It's not closed yet but no one ever came in to take the place left by Macy's, and they haven't repaired the parking lot in years.
     
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  17. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Ken Anderson
    Just how large a mall is that, Ken? For that matter, how large is Bangor? That was a name we heard now and then in school in Social Studies. If the folks normally doing their shopping for necessities, that is, local folks, know their needs are not available at a mall, it's likely they will skip it often. I don't recall any mall anywhere having a store, or stores, aimed at everyday needs: produce, meat, other foods, household needs (though, yes, we have a "Kitchen Connections", not a store to avoid if kitchenware is desired).

    Malls overall seem to me to be a figment of the imaginations of the dollar-hungry developers; they built them, pushed them, languished back awaiting profit from intensely high rents, then awoke to today's reality.

    When my wife worked in Phoenix for "Freidman's Microwave Ovens", Friedman had two such stores in the Phoenix area, Chris Town Mall and Fiesta Mall, in Mesa, about 15 miles away. The marketing technique was sound. Show folks they could actually cook and prepare meals, and they would buy. My wife did "Cooking Schools", proving beef roasts, turkeys, cakes, most anything, could be easily and successfully cooked in a microwave. I was amazed at her dexterity!

    Evidently, Friedman had stores nationwide, riding high on the surge of public interest by the novices. In 1985, a meeting was held in Hawaii, which my wife attended free as an employee, my accompanying her cost a pittance, which was intended to further promote the craze. Once in a lifetime opportunity, I called it. We drove about Kawaii island, astounded by the beauty!

    "Friedman's Microwaves" is now gone. Almost everyone has one by now, few know how to cook with them, the novelty and prestige of owning one is gone, and here we are, wife & I, looking forward to Thanksgiving when she will pull a wonderfully cooked turkey out of our microwave, breast meat more juicy and tangy than ever via an oven. Frank
     
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  18. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    If you've listened to the song,"King of the Road," you've heard of Bangor, Maine because it's in the lyrics.

    The Hank Snow / Johnny Cash song, "I've Been Everywhere," also lists Bangor as one of many cities in the lyrics.

    Johnny Cash names Bangor in his song, "Locomotive Man," too.

    Bangor has a population of about 30,000, but several other cities surrounding it are often collectively known as "Bangor," but not by people who live there. At 30,000, Bangor is the third largest city in the state, the largest being Portland with about 65,000.

    The Bangor Mall wouldn't be considered large by some standards, but it is one of the largest ones in the state, although much smaller than the Maine Mall at Portland. It is the only actual mall in Bangor, although there are mini-malls everywhere. It used to bring people from hundreds of miles away. We have a camp more than two hundred miles north of Millinocket, which is about three hundred miles north of Bangor, and people would talk about going shopping in Bangor.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
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  19. Kitty Carmel

    Kitty Carmel Very Well-Known Member
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    #19
  20. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    A nmber of large companies have disappeared from the scene. Way back Kresses was in many small and large town. they disappeared, but may still have Kress in Australia. TG&Y was once a regional little giant. It's gopne. Sears was king and had something many companies aspired to. They fell onto hard times and was finally bought by K-Mart who thought Sears name was more valuable than was K-Mart, changed the name to Sears Holding Company. For many years WhirlPool made Sear's appliances and they were among the best anywhere. Today they are in or near bankruptcy. They have closed many stores. Sam Walton built up an international giant with the Walmart and Sam's brands and along the way put thousands of smaller mom and pop storess out of business. Now Walmart is closing stores, building smaller neighborhood stores, trying to find a way to maintain a desired profit margin. Thay have yesterday announced the closing of sixty-three Sam's stores. A number oif these closing were immediate. Employees came to work yesaterday and were told the store was closed and going out of business, effective immediately. The rest will close in the next two or three weeks. Sam's will create from a dozen or so of these closing stores, shipping points to accomidate online shipping. Retail seems to be trending smaller in the U.S. and online shopping is getting greater. Malls are going bankrupt and I believe this trend will eventually do away with most malls. I guess it has always been a changing world and today we are witnessing more change that will affect many thousands of employees. The pendlelem may have begun to swing slowly in the other direction. Just a thought.
     
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  21. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    One of our favorites was G. C. Murphy, which had a store-front almost identical to Kresge's, and may actually have been owned by them.
    Frank
     
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  22. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    They're closing the Sears store in the Bangor Mall too.
     
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  23. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Ken Anderson
    As the nation's biggest retailers became larger and larger, a fact I never pondered as a consumer, they became more "top-heavy" in the process, much like government. Eventually, the growth curve could no longer support the extravagant plans implemented for expansion of the business. Borrowed funds in unprecedentedly great amounts became payable, with insufficient income revenue to cover them.

    I started working for Sears in March, 1986, a part-time Maintenance job taken while I was undertaking the single largest building venture of my life: building a custom home by myself. By then, I had been unemployed for several years. Soon it became evident to me via rumor, announcement, common gossip, that Sears needed "help". It announced the sale of it's wholly-owned flagship Allstate Insurance, a monumentally-sized operation in itself. Then came Discover Card. Apparently Sears owned a controlling interest in that huge magnate. Thus, around 1990, it became clear the game was changing. Soon, Sears announced the introduction of a whole new division, the "Sears Homelife Stores". Those were large buildings located in well-known strip malls, and would cater to home furnishings exclusively. I was called upon to service problems, mechanical and electrical, showing up in the Homelifes, chiefly in Mesa, Arizona. Working there, I perceived in my mind that the operation there would fold within a few years. it did. The Homelife stores became an Albatross, beyond doubt.

    Sears Autocenters were yet another whole "ballgame". Perhaps some members here have experiences to tell of, related to them. Briefly stated, the Autocenters created monumental headaches for Sears.

    As an insider, working and travelling throughout Sears District 251, New Mexico, Arizona, S.W. Texas, and part of California, I heard and documented many things pointing to a "breaking point". I left Sears in 1998, receiving the munificent stipend of pension totaling $97 per month!

    It was time to go. My wife & I then underwent our second "drop-out" from the system in 1999, just prior to the dreaded "Y2K" predictions, which meant nothing to us.
    Frank
     
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