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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sears adds baseball’s Paul DePodesta to board

It’s all in the uhh…brand.

dc

Sears Holdings Corp. is reaching into world of “Moneyball” for guidance as the retailer tries to turn around its struggling business.

The operator of Sears and Kmart stores said Thursday that Paul DePodesta, vice president of player development and amateur scouting for the New York Mets, has been elected to its board.

...“DePodesta’s ability to scrutinize data and use it to assess talent and drive execution makes him ideally suited to join our board,” Sears Holdings Chairman Edward Lampert said in a statement.

DePodesta graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in economics. The election of DePodesta increases the number of directors on its board to eight.

Sears operates more than 2,600 stores in the U.S. and Canada. The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company is trying to restore profitability after struggling with tough competition and weak sales. The company is in the midst of a plan to cut costs and reduce inventory. It also has invested heavily in improving the customer experience in its stores and merchandise to help improve sales.

Shares of Sears gained 40 cents to $42.78 by midday. Its shares have lost roughly half their value since their 52-week peak in March at $83.43.

Repoz Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:52 PM | 69 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets, sabermetrics

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   1. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4323869)
We're not selling jeans here. And that's the problem.
   2. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4323874)
Here's some free advice for DePo: Fix Sears's ####### inventory system. It's hard to run a successful business when different stores give different answers about product availability, and none of them are actually able to ship you what you want to buy, even if they say that they are.

Customer service is pretty terrible, too. I bought a washing machine from Sears, and it broke in the first month I had it, and it took me a full year of trying to get it repaired or replaced before the company eventually gave up and refunded my money. Never again.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4323876)
Oh, and this is America. It might not be a bad idea if you stocked a few clothes big enough for fat people.

Just saying.
   4. andrewberg Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:27 PM (#4323885)
So, good luck KMart on becoming the Mets of the retail world.
   5. NattyBoh Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4323901)
They're going to start selling Dickies at Citifield? Is Mr. Met going to do grand openings at the mall? Pray tell.
   6. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4323902)
This from a WSJ article last year that trashed Sears. I never forgot reading this after laughing at the comments

Jaire Quezada, 30, said she visited a Sears on Houston's Main St. to retrieve a fitness ball she had ordered online. The once palatial art deco department store, which preservationists said was the first in Texas with escalators when it opened in 1929, had had its display windows bricked over.
"I bet half of Houston does not even realize it is still open," Ms. Quezada recalled.

Halley Blythe, 25, said she visited a grand old Sears in Oakland in search of a vacuum cleaner and had a hard time finding a sales associate—or anyone else for that matter.
"We could have played Frisbee in there," she said. A security guard eventually apologized, and an associate arrived 20 minutes later, she said, adding, "This was a Saturday afternoon."
   7. Dale Sams Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4323924)
And another Bull Durham axiom (Along with "Strikeouts are fascist") falls by the wayside.
   8. asinwreck Posted: December 13, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4324015)
As someone who shopped at Sears all the time back in the 70s, I'm amazed the company still exists. I mean, Montgomery Ward's died a decade ago, and their customer service/inventory/lack of lawsuits over fraudulent automobile repairs consistently outclassed Sears.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4324076)
In other news, I learned that Sears is still in operation.
   10. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4324081)
and Sears felt old and stale 20 years ago. My wife and I have only gone in there if she's had to exchange something in their in-store Land's End store.
   11. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4324088)
I work behind a mall and Sears is one of the anchor stores. I walk through it every day and they seem to do decent business. It's not a destination that's for sure, I'd go to Kohls or Target before I went to Sears but if I'm in the mall shopping I wouldn't avoid Sears and go to one of those stores.
   12. Tripon Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:37 PM (#4324099)
What exactly is Sears supposed to be? The Target or Walmart of 40 years ago?
   13. DL from MN Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4324101)
What kills me about Sears is they used to be the leader in catalog sales and are now one of the worst places for internet sales. I have tried several times to buy replacement parts for my lawnmower and have been stymied by their web page. They also won't let you use a Sears gift card to buy lawnmower replacement parts from a Sears web page. That was the last straw for me.
   14. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4324103)
They also had that Auto Service Garage shop, Dental service, optomologists and professional photogrpahy studios, that was adjacent to their anchor stores. A very strange business model that Sears has had. I'd call it a bit more utilitarian version of Target, sans the groceries.
   15. Tripon Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4324109)

They also had that Auto Service Garage shop, Dental service, optomologists and professional photogrpahy studios, that was adjacent to their anchor stores. A very strange business model that Sears has had. I'd call it a bit more utilitarian version of Target, sans the groceries.


That sounds a lot like Costco's model.
   16. Bhaakon Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4324114)
Never should have dropped the "Roebuck."
   17. DL from MN Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4324118)
What exactly is Sears supposed to be?


They're called "department stores".
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4324122)
hat exactly is Sears supposed to be?


They used to produce pornography, before the Internet.
   19. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:50 PM (#4324123)
As a child I was always afraid of being in Sears with my parents, because if I wandered off I might get kidnapped like Adam Walsh did in 1981
   20. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4324127)
As a child I was always afraid of being in Sears with my parents, because if I wandered off I might get kidnapped like Adam Walsh did in 1981


Do you think your dad would make a good TV host?
   21. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4324131)
i've bought a few appliances from sears in recent years, because kenmore offered rebranded, cheaper versions of what i planned on buying otherwise. that's pretty much the only reason i'd go there - but it's been a good reason.
   22. Bhaakon Posted: December 13, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4324138)
i've bought a few appliances from sears in recent years, because kenmore offered rebranded, cheaper versions of what i planned on buying otherwise. that's pretty much the only reason i'd go there - but it's been a good reason.


They must do a heck of a business in appliances and tools, because those are the only parts of the store, which makes the other 3/4 of the stores a massive waste of space.
   23. DL from MN Posted: December 13, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4324145)
My local Sears only sells appliances and tools. Haven't been to a mall Sears in years.
   24. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4324146)
Do you think your dad would make a good TV host?


Well he did work for a branch of the federal government in a law enforcement capacity. I don't think he had the voice that John has for it.
   25. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4324155)
Do you think your dad would make a good TV host?


It appears to be a viable career move. Isn't that Holloway girl's mother now hosting a TV show? Something disconcerting about that, to me at least.
   26. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: December 13, 2012 at 06:02 PM (#4324220)
I bought a washer, dryer, and refrigerator online from Sears five years ago. I've never had any problems with any of them. I assumed there were no actual Sears stores in the area now, but their website says there's one in my ZIP code, two miles away from me.
   27. Benji Posted: December 13, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4324330)
Sell your Sears stock. Now if Wal-Mart would hire Ricciardi retail would get more in balance.
   28. The District Attorney Posted: December 13, 2012 at 07:50 PM (#4324331)
They're going to start selling Dickies at Citifield?
No, but they're going to sell Dickey for cheap...
   29. OsunaSakata Posted: December 13, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4324358)
Jeffrey Loria got rich selecting the artwork endorsed by Vincent Price and sold through Sears. I doubt any entity that helped Jeffry Loria get rich is still rich today.
   30. McCoy Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:23 PM (#4324444)
I was just thinking about Sears the other day. I needed a heat control probe for an electric grill and no hardware store around me sells it. I was saying, "you know, used to be that you could go to Sears and pick one of those up no problem nowadays you have to find some niche internet store that sells them and hopefully they supply a decent looking picture to give you some idea whether or not their part will work. Then you got to wait a week or so for the part to come in the mail. Sometimes life was a lot easier back in the day.

When I was a kid Sears was one of the anchor stores at our mall. Bought our first color TV from Sears and possibly even the Atari we had. We probably got our school clothing from there as well.

The catalog of choice for us when I was a kid was the Service Merchandise catalog. Especially their Christmas catalog. My sister and I would flip through those pages dreaming about all the toys in the catalog and filling our lists with tons of toys from the catalog. I don't think we ever got anything on our list. At least not me. I think I stopped making a list around 9 or 10. After the catalog business folded up in the early 90's I moved on to the Egghead Software catalog for teenage fantasies. Earl Weaver Baseball, mmmmmm. . . .
   31. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4324455)
The Del Amo mall in Torrance has a Sears and a JcPenneys close to each other. It's like going back in time. Years ago they also had a Montgomery Ward too. These days that spot is filled by something called a T.J. Maxx.
   32. Tripon Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4324459)
The Del Amo mall is totally weird. There's the retro 1970s era mall portion, and the newer modern outdoor mall. Highly contracting styles.
   33. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4324463)
There was a huge Sears store near the corner of Mission and Army when I was growing up in San Francisco, which converted it's across-the-street warehouse into a toy store for the Christmas season. It was a wondrous place for children.

The warehouse is gone, the main store is now the Unemployment office, and Army Street is no longer, changing it's name to Cesar Chavez Street years ago.

Sometimes growing older sucks.
   34. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:25 AM (#4324479)
possibly even the Atari we had.


The first Atari I played on was the Sears branded version.

I'm probably one of the youngest people to be able to honestly say he shopped at the Crosstown Sears in Memphis. It's a huge, tall building (last I heard being remodeled into apartments for the insufferable hipster ########## who've already polluted and gentrified every other part of Midtown) and AFIAK the original Sears in the city. One floor at Xmastime was nearly all toys and it had Empire Strikes Back action figures you couldn't get anywhere else except out of the catalog. The mall anchor Sears stores were never as good. IMO the Sears wishbook was better than Service Merchandise's catalog exactly as much as the Service Merchandise stores were better than Sears anchor stores - for toys, I mean; nothing else mattered at the time.
   35. SoSH U at work Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:47 AM (#4324488)
I bought a few things for my wife from the Sears in the nearby mall last Christmas. Took a look in there a few weeks back, but didn't find anything. The quality of product is somewhere between the Walmart/Target and the higher-end department stores, AFAICT.

Their apppliances are still excellent, however. We bought a washer-dryer set from Sears when we got married in 1992. The dryer finally gave out two years ago. The washer's still going strong, which is particularly impressive considering how many damn times we've moved.
   36. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:53 AM (#4324489)
I've been to two KMarts in the last five years and both were amazingly depressing.
   37. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 14, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4324498)
KMart is indeed more depressing than Sears. Great observation. Every KMart I've ever been to is like a Target with half-empty shelves.

Glad to see people appreciate Sears's appliances. The guy who sold me my vacuum cleaner really knew a huge amount about vacuum cleaners. It's superficially depressing to interact with a guy who has been selling vacuum cleaners at Sears for 20 years, but that's just because I'm used to the 21st-century economy. Maybe that's a good job. What do I know.
   38. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 14, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4324501)
As a child I was always afraid of being in Sears with my parents, because if I wandered off I might get kidnapped like Adam Walsh did in 1981


That was my local Sears growing up, at the Hollywood Fashion Mall. My grandparents used to drop me off at the Atari game so I could kill time while they shopped, which is exactly what Walsh's parents were doing when he was taken. Looking back I'm still amazed that they didn't completely flip out and buy me a leash; what is the appropriate reaction for a parent when a local kid is brutally murdered doing the exact same thing your own kid does routinely?
   39. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 14, 2012 at 01:52 AM (#4324509)
K-Mart is such a sad place to go. My parents live in Wyoming (for 15 years) and I remember going in there about 8 years ago, maybe my second KMart visit in 15 years, it was brutally sparse. I was in one a couple years ago in a larger metro area and it was the same thing. As with Sears, I probably bought many of my 50 or so Atari cartridges from those two places (and Kay-Bee Toys).

appliance wise, Sears is still quite good, the people in there are really good, much better than a HomeDepot/Lowes for expertise. I've followed the co. for awhile, and they simply do not put money into the stores, hence the public finds them stuck in a 1980s mode.
   40. PreservedFish Posted: December 14, 2012 at 01:57 AM (#4324511)
I've been to the Sears that you can play frisbee in.
   41. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 14, 2012 at 02:11 AM (#4324514)
I was just thinking about Sears the other day. I needed a heat control probe for an electric grill and no hardware store around me sells it. I was saying, "you know, used to be that you could go to Sears and pick one of those up no problem nowadays you have to find some niche internet store that sells them and hopefully they supply a decent looking picture to give you some idea whether or not their part will work. Then you got to wait a week or so for the part to come in the mail. Sometimes life was a lot easier back in the day.

There's no Sears where you are? It sounds like you're talking about Woolworth's or Ames.

I remember thinking that about 8 years ago, about a pocket radio. "Isn't it a good idea to have a portable radio? Why is my only radio the one in the car? I like listening to the radio." Sears was the obvious place to go.
   42. Tripon Posted: December 14, 2012 at 02:14 AM (#4324515)
I remember thinking that about 8 years ago, about a pocket radio. "Isn't it a good idea to have a portable radio? Why is my only radio the one in the car? I like listening to the radio." Sears was the obvious place to go.


I'm pretty sure there were podcasts, even 8 years ago.
   43. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 14, 2012 at 02:29 AM (#4324521)
probably true, but I still keep around a small portable radio, AM radio is alive and well. I think radio shack, as long as you can avoid the battery aisle and the three feet's worth of receipts isn't a bad place for that. No store has more questions and red tape over a $15 purchase than radio shack.
   44. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 14, 2012 at 02:30 AM (#4324522)
According to Wikipedia the word "podcast" was invented by Ben Hammersley in a February 2004 Guardian article, and started being a common term among media software developers in September 2004, although iTunes did not have a way of searching or organizing or syncing such things until June 2005. So you are technically correct.

Also radio and podcasts fulfil completely different functions, with completely different content, in my life at least.
   45. Bob T Posted: December 14, 2012 at 03:21 AM (#4324528)
I bought a washer and dryer at a Sears. The store was fairly busy and the woman selling me the machines knew a lot about them and also steered me toward a rebate I could get from the state of California for buying a front-loading machine. With the rebate, it came out to a lower price than a top-loader.

I've also bought a TV at Sears. It had a good price at the time. I certainly don't go to them a lot, but they are pretty good for major appliances.
   46. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: December 14, 2012 at 06:59 AM (#4324539)
I was told many years ago that Sears gets its rebranded washers and dryers from Whirlpool on the cheap because those are the units that fall below Whirlpool's quality assurance testing level. Sounds reasonable and might explain why some report excellent service from theirs while others report a history of failures. If only baseball players had such quality assurance testing, eh?

Do Craftsman tools still have a lifetime warranty?

I went into Sears about 30 years ago to buy a 1-1/4 inch open-end wrench to work on my 1972 Gutlass. The guy looked at the small screen of that ridiculously huge Sweda register, chuckled, and said, "I'm gonna sell it to you for that!" I walked out of there with that huge wrench that cost me precisely $0.01

Tell DePodesta to fix THAT!
   47. just plain joe Posted: December 14, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4324563)
Do Craftsman tools still have a lifetime warranty?


AFAIK they still do; you really have to work hard to destroy an open end wrench. The Whirlpool thing you mentioned is not true. My uncle worked for Whirlpool for 30+ years and he told me the reason the appliances at Sears were cheaper was that Sears contracted to buy a buttload of them and thus got a huge deal on the cost. This in turn allows Sears to sell the same appliance more cheaply than a Whirlpool dealer. As you might expect this made the Whirlpool dealers unhappy and the corporation was always having to offer them incentives to keep them on board. The quality thing is likely just random noise; as a rule appliances like washers/dryers/refrigerators are pretty reliable. Where things go wrong are on the high end models with the fancy controls and other bells and whistles. The difference between a basic washer with the old style manual controls and a high end washer with electronic controls is the controls, the motor and pump are the same.
   48. I am going to be Frank Posted: December 14, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4324625)
Sears is like the post office - only old people go regularly and when you do walk in you immediately feel depressed.

Kenmore is the Sears "house" brand but like everything in the US its production is outsourced. Appliances such as fridges, washers or dryers could be made by LG, Samsung or Whirlpool. Sears does have the best selection because (as of a year or so ago) they had the 10 most popular brands. For instance, you would not be able to buy a LG washer in Lowe's or a Samsung at Home Depot, and of course Kenmore is only available at Sears - I used to work in the industry.
   49. hokieneer Posted: December 14, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4324627)
Do Craftsman tools still have a lifetime warranty?


They do, and they'll still replace broken wrenches that are 30-40 years old with a comparable modern wrench from their inventory. I have a coworker that is a flea market go-er and an antiquer. He buys any old craftsman hand tool he finds and takes them to sears to get a brand new replacement.

My father-in-law has been an auto technician for 25+ years. He exclusively used craftsman for all his tools. When you are using tools for 8 hours a day 5-6 days a week, you pay the extra for quality and the lifetime warranty. He's the service manager now, and he said the new technicians use a combination of craftsman and snap-on. Snap-on offers the lifetime warranty and they are comparable if not better in terms of quality to craftsman. Snap-on has one-upped Sears with their distribution though. Every few weeks a Snap-On distribution truck will come to the garage to fulfill & take orders and do the warranty replacement. It's really a nice convenience factor for the 9-5 mechanic.

Craftsman power tools are not lifetime warranty though, but they do have an X year warranty. I own a few cordless power tools (drill, circ saw, driver, etc); and for the price I'm not sure you could find better. Yeah a Makita drill would be a lot better, but not 2x better than a craftsman. At least not for the typical homeowner that also does a little carpentry on the side.

The Craftsman brand still has some value and clout in the world, even if it's not as powerful as it was a generation ago. Outside of craftsman (and that includes hand tools, power tools, and lawn equipment) and maybe appliances; there is no reason to shop at Sears. I do enjoy K-mart carrying craftsman though. The easiest "department store" for me to get too is K-Mart, so if I need a particular size crescent wrench, I can bypass the local hardware stores and go to K-mart to pick up a Craftsman with no extra hassle.
   50. DL from MN Posted: December 14, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4324642)
AM radio is alive and well


Not so much. The Twins are moving to FM next year. The other sports-talk station here already moved to FM. I am pretty certain MP3 players and ipods are driving the changes. People still want to listen to a ballgame but an ipod can't do AM.
   51. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:14 PM (#4324730)
I am pretty certain MP3 players and ipods are driving the changes. People still want to listen to a ballgame but an ipod can't do AM.


A lot of it is also that FM sounds so much better than AM.

I occasionally go to the Sears on State Street in search of underwear and wrenches and things like that. A few months ago a Target opened more or less across the street, so that Sears is doomed.
   52. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4324766)
The Sears by me opened a decade back, in a relatively upscale mall (by local standards, at least), is by a Target and other nicer options - yet seems to be doing okay. I don't get it either.
Kmart, otoh, is ######.
   53. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 14, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4324816)
My first color TV, bought back during my first paid vacation, came from the Sears near University Mall in Little Rock. I dunno if the Sears is still there, but I'm pretty sure the mall died some years ago, as is the way of older malls. (I bought my first VCR on the same shopping trip at said mall's Montgomery Ward ... or maybe it was the other way around) My dryer came from the Sears at North Little Rock's McCain Mall in the mid-'90s, I'm pretty sure (I just looked, & it's a Speed Queen rather than a Kenmore, so it might have come with this house when I moved in back in 11/01 ... but I think it's the washer that stayed behind in NLR instead).

My vinyl copy of Licensed to Ill came from the LR Sears, too.

   54. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 14, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4324821)
Years ago they also had a Montgomery Ward too.


My first credit card, obtained while I was a near-penniless college student (they must've forced it upon me, because there's no way I would've thought to try to get one), was from Montgomery Ward. I still remember the number.
   55. J.R. Wolf Posted: December 14, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4324839)
I've been to Sears once since I was an adult. My girlfriend wanted a candy thermometer, and Sears' website showed that they had them in stock at the local store, and I was free, so I went to get her one.

First off, there weren't any ofvthem anywhere in plain sight.

Second off, it took twenty minutes for a retail associate to appear. She immediately told me that she was the wrong sales associate and left to get the "right" one.

Third off, the "right" sales associate appeared ten minutes later, made a failed cursory search, and said "The website never gets our inventory right. I think we used to have some but not any more." I got out my phone and ordered one from Amazon right in front of her and told her the same thing I later told my girlfriend and am telling you now: Sears is obsolete, and if they don't adapt to modern times they are doomed.

I have never gone back to Sears since, nor will I.
   56. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: December 14, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4324904)
{55] Did you play frisbee in there?
   57. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 14, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4324954)
I worked for Kmart for 11 and a half years (my store closed down this summer). The funny thing is the opinions of Sears and Kmart in this thread pretty well reflect what the general public perception of them is (that Sears is still a decent place but Kmart is hopeless) yet when it comes to profitability for Sears Holdings it's actually the opposite. The Kmart side of the business has been profitable for years while Sears has really been dragging things down; I'm not sure what the current state of things is but a couple years ago the company as a whole was slightly profitable but the Sears side wasn't. I suspect it's because people just aren't shopping at Sears that much any more so the massive amounts of slow-moving, expensive inventory they have on hand combined with mall rents is making it difficult for them to make much money. Kmart is in a much better position as far as being capable of making profits though in the end it's going to be irrelevant because overall sales are constantly declining (my store tended to decline 2-3% every year). More and more stores are closing (even ones like mine that were profitable and perfectly good, we were one of the top stores in the area) and there doesn't seem to be any real interest from the top execs in turning the company around, they're just looking to squeeze every dollar out of it till the end.

The company as a whole has little chance of surviving. Eventually the annual article in the business section of the paper predicting that this is the year that Sears and Kmart are going to fail is going to be true, I think it's inevitable at this point. Kenmore and Craftsman are still really strong brands that deserve the reputation they have but they're doomed to being sold off to the highest bidder at some point.
   58. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: December 14, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4325070)
One thing that's struck me about Kmart is the wide variance in store quality. When I lived in Richmond, the local Super K was somewhere between Walmart and Target in terms of looks - it was clean, organized, etc... The Kmart closest to me now is post-apocalyptic - decidedly worse than, say, area dollar stores or the T.J. Maxx/Home Goods/other junky places of the world in terms of upkeep.
   59. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: December 15, 2012 at 12:35 AM (#4325326)
The K-Mart in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico is immaculate, bright, and fresh, much like a Target store. I had to run back out and look up at the sign to make sure I was in a K-Mart. I have never been in a K-Mart within the confines of the 50 states that was in the same league of niceness as that one.

The K-Mart near me is uninviting, like their clientele. It was recently announced that Walmart is buying the property and will be razing that building and the adjacent Holsum Bread bakery and store to make room for their new monstrosity. So I guess Walmart is the Borg of retailers.
   60. McCoy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:04 AM (#4325336)
There's no Sears where you are? It sounds like you're talking about Woolworth's or Ames.

I remember thinking that about 8 years ago, about a pocket radio. "Isn't it a good idea to have a portable radio? Why is my only radio the one in the car? I like listening to the radio." Sears was the obvious place to go.


Would have to get in my car and lose my parking space to drive out of the city to get to a Sears. Not doing that.
   61. NTNgod Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:12 AM (#4325338)
More and more stores are closing (even ones like mine that were profitable and perfectly good, we were one of the top stores in the area) and there doesn't seem to be any real interest from the top execs in turning the company around, they're just looking to squeeze every dollar out of it till the end.

I seem to recall it was the belief that Sears wanted KMart primarily for the real estate, rather than the stores themselves, then the real estate market went kersplat, no?
   62. McCoy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:17 AM (#4325340)
When I was a kid our shopping mall was Fox Valley in Aurora. It had Sears, JCPenney, Lord & Taylor, Sears, and Marshall Field's.

Lord and Taylor was where the womenfolk would shop for upscale clothes, jewelry, perfume, and such. Marshall Field's was where you would shop for generally nicer things. Men would shop at Sears for mangear like tools, appliances, gadgets, tv, lawnmowers, and such. JCPenney was the low end store.
   63. McCoy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:18 AM (#4325341)
I seem to recall it was the belief that Sears wanted KMart primarily for the real estate, rather than the stores themselves, then the real estate market went kersplat, no?

I thought the same hedge fund manager that bought KMart then used KMart to buy Sears and is basically using the asset to pump cash into his other ventures.
   64. NTNgod Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:37 AM (#4325353)
I thought the same hedge fund manager that bought KMart then used KMart to buy Sears and is basically using the asset to pump cash into his other ventures.

Oops... looking up some of the old articles from the time of the merger, I did have things slightly mixed up in that it was Lampert, the hedge fund manager, who was envisioned as using Kmart for its real estate and using Sears as the ongoing retailer.
   65. smileyy Posted: December 15, 2012 at 01:58 AM (#4325366)
Sears is an honest place to buy blue jeans. J.C. Penney will do if Sears is not available, or out of one's preferred blue jeans.
   66. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 15, 2012 at 03:24 AM (#4325384)
Yeah, Eddie Lampert is the guy calling the shots and pretty much making any Kmart property available (profitable store or no) to anyone who wants to buy it. I'd say that any plans he had to use Sears as the ongoing retailer have gone kaput though, Sears as a whole is doing poorly and there's no reason to think it's going to turn around in the future. At this point I think his plan is just to milk as much money as possible out of the company before it fails completely.
   67. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 15, 2012 at 04:58 AM (#4325387)
Jeffrey Loria got rich selecting the artwork endorsed by Vincent Price and sold through Sears. I doubt any entity that helped Jeffry Loria get rich is still rich today.
I feel like I'm falling for a joke here. "Rich"? As in, "make a lot of money" rich?

That just seems like an incredibly odd thing to be able to get rich at, like finding out the pull tabs on old beer cans are worth $100 apiece.
   68. FrankM Posted: December 15, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4325463)
We stopped buying at Sears when we had delivery problems with a refrigerator we ordered, in the course of which we found the customer service to be atrocious.

And if their stuff is what falls below Whirlpool's quality standards, their appliances must be complete pieces of ####.
   69. tfbg9 Posted: December 15, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4325615)
So, Vlad is fat?

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