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Goodbye Sears?
Old 12-27-2018, 06:03 PM   #1
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Goodbye Sears?

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/27/sear...-tomorrow.html

My first serious job as a catalog store manager in 1958. We called it/her "mother"... and it was considered a lifetime job.
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:07 PM   #2
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I remember as a kid taking out the Sears catalog and looking at all the toys. Back in those days, was happy going through the catalog and using imagination on how fun the toys might be rather than having an online demo like today.
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:33 PM   #3
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My favorite Sears memory comes from when I was a starving grad student in the early 80's. In this case literally starving as it my research stipend had run out at the end of summer session about a week short of fall term. Since it was summer no friends were around to borrow a few bucks or beg a meal from.

All I had was a Sears credit card. Ever try to find food in a Sears? The best I was able to find was a couple of bags of "Textured Vegetable Protein" amongst the exercise equipment. I lived off those vile things for 5 days.

And even so, I'll miss Sears a lot (though I suspect my 3 rollaways full of Craftsman tools will outlive me).
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:39 PM   #4
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No food? Wait, wasn't it Sears that had a section up front where they had stuff like candy and caramel popcorn? To my young nose, it always smelled a bit off, like a grownup taste. Or was I thinking of a different department store?


I used to like the ping-pong balls floating on the vacuums set in reverse.



Or am I just hallucinating? These were Chicago city stores...
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:45 PM   #5
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This was in Mountain View, CA (long before the town was taken over by the Google Borg). They might have sold candy around the holidays, but in late August the cupboard was truly bare.
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Old 12-27-2018, 07:02 PM   #6
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This was in Mountain View, CA (long before the town was taken over by the Google Borg). They might have sold candy around the holidays, but in late August the cupboard was truly bare.
Well, I could have been remembering Monkey Wards instead. Mom took us to both stores equally.

imoldernu knows both and could probably clarify.


Then again, maybe it was Marshall Fields. We didn't go there much because it was too classy.
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Old 12-27-2018, 07:14 PM   #7
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No food? Wait, wasn't it Sears that had a section up front where they had stuff like candy and caramel popcorn? To my young nose, it always smelled a bit off, like a grownup taste. Or was I thinking of a different department store?


I used to like the ping-pong balls floating on the vacuums set in reverse.



Or am I just hallucinating? These were Chicago city stores...
My childhood Sears had a concession stand near the exit to the rooftop parking lot. They had popcorn, great chili dogs, and one of those donut frying machines that you can watch. Hot, fresh donuts. It was possible to ignore the goodies on the way into the store but much more difficult to pass by a 2nd time on the way out.
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Old 12-27-2018, 07:52 PM   #8
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The old Sears we fondly remember has been effectively gone for years. Good riddance to the almost empty shell struggling at my local mall.

I also remember how they repeatedly screwed up my Sears credit card back in the '80s when I was first starting out, before they accepted any other card in their stores. I moved quite a bit around the country in those days, and after a move would get one bill for an overdue balance plus a late fee, and a second bill showing an equal credit. I finally went in person to a store and paid in cash after much confusion and frustration, then asked to borrow the poor clerk's scissors whereupon I cut up the card in front of him!

But the memories of the old toy catalog before Christmas each year. Oh boy!
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:42 PM   #9
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The old Sears we fondly remember has been effectively gone for years. Good riddance to the almost empty shell struggling at my local mall.

I also remember how they repeatedly screwed up my Sears credit card back in the '80s when I was first starting out, before they accepted any other card in their stores.

Yeah, Sears wouldn't issue a store credit card to me in the early '80s either. And I already had a MasterCard. I have no idea why Sears refused my application.
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JoeWras View Post
No food? Wait, wasn't it Sears that had a section up front where they had stuff like candy and caramel popcorn? To my young nose, it always smelled a bit off, like a grownup taste. Or was I thinking of a different department store?


I used to like the ping-pong balls floating on the vacuums set in reverse.



Or am I just hallucinating? These were Chicago city stores...
'


I remember the caramel popcorn smell at the 62nd & Western store! As soon as you walked in.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:00 PM   #11
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My favorite Sears memory comes from when I was a starving grad student in the early 80's. In this case literally starving as it my research stipend had run out at the end of summer session about a week short of fall term. Since it was summer no friends were around to borrow a few bucks or beg a meal from.

All I had was a Sears credit card. Ever try to find food in a Sears? The best I was able to find was a couple of bags of "Textured Vegetable Protein" amongst the exercise equipment. I lived off those vile things for 5 days.

And even so, I'll miss Sears a lot (though I suspect my 3 rollaways full of Craftsman tools will outlive me).

Your post reminded me that my first credit card was a Sears card. Knew I made it to the big time when I got a Sears card .
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:02 PM   #12
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So I guess we will learn of their final fate tomorrow, but it doesnít look likely they will survive at this point. The only store left in my area is South Coast Plaza in Santa Ana, and that store was already scheduled to close by the end of the year anyway. Itís been years since I shopped for anything at a Sears. They lost their way long ago, and itís been a slow and painful spiral downward for so many years now. I feel bad for the employees, but I think itís for the best that we see Sears go away and make room for something people will get more value out of.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:22 PM   #13
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Itís sad to see Sears like this. Itís depressing going into a Sears store and seeing more workers than shoppers. It was a great place when I was a kid - had a lot of Sears stuff growing up. And I bought enough Craftsman tools to keep the company afloat.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:06 PM   #14
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My best job offer out of college was to join the mgmt training program at Sears in Chicago. I still regret not taking that job. I was just too scared to go 800 miles to such a big city with no friends or family there. Would have been an interesting career. Maybe I could have talked them out of buying KMart. That was just more lead weight that brought down the ship.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:14 PM   #15
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My parents were fans of Sears. My dad liked to buy tools and home equipment there and my mom liked to buy clothes and other stuff. They bought me my first bicycle from Sears back in the 1960s, and they bought me a chess computer from Sears in the 1980s.


My mom would always buy me some roasted, salted cashew nuts from the candy counter for me to nibble on at the end of her shopping. Always liked those nuts.


As an adult, I did some shopping there, too. Lands End had some good clothes I could try on and save the shipping costs versus buying it from their catalog. But I recall decades ago Sears didn't accept major credit cards other than their store card and their Discover Card. I had neither at the time so I couldn't buy anything too costly until those obstacles went away.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:38 PM   #16
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I, like many, figured Sears was on the way out with the purchase of KMart (or vice versa, whichever). What a bonehead move....

Was also my first credit card. Purchased a set of new tires for my 225 Buick just out of college and put em on the card.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:47 PM   #17
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I worked for a trucking company that delivered freight to the big stores & the catalog stores. Really good job at the time.Good people too. A lot of lifers. We delivered the catalog stores before open so it was early morning delivery. Ever wrestle a garden tractor off your semi trailer at 3:00 am and no loading ramp? I did...LOL

Built my first house working the trucking. With the early start I could be off about 1:00 pm. Then go by and work on my house until dark.

I saw a Sears house a few years ago. It was pretty cool & in good shape. It was tucked way back off the highway on a farmers plot of land. I don't think there are many left
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Old 12-28-2018, 05:37 AM   #18
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I, like many, figured Sears was on the way out with the purchase of KMart (or vice versa, whichever). What a bonehead move....
It boggled the mind. Seriously. I really, really didn't get it.

To us tech geeks, it was obvious they needed to resurrect their old catalog skills and hit the internet hard. Instead, they went in the opposite direction.

WalMart got it and is now a player in the internet game.
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Old 12-28-2018, 06:45 AM   #19
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I remember learning that the house two doors down from where I grew up was ordered from a Sears catalog. I was very impressed with Sears being able to send a house. Checking it out in Google Street View I am still impressed.
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Old 12-28-2018, 07:01 AM   #20
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The sears store near us closed last spring. All 3 of my kids worked there for their first job back in the 90's and was their first credit card too. I was in for the last time in January getting a battery for one of our vehicles.
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