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New rules for political content in signatures and user profiles. See this thread for details.

Poll

How much longer do you think Sears and Kmart Have?

6 Months
- 17 (19.1%)
9 Months
- 9 (10.1%)
One Year
- 24 (27%)
Two Years
- 18 (20.2%)
Five Years
- 13 (14.6%)
Ten Years
- 1 (1.1%)
They'll be around forever!
- 7 (7.9%)

Total Members Voted: 89


Author Topic: Sears-Kmart Death Watch  (Read 34741 times)

GCrites80s

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #375 on: June 16, 2021, 01:29:36 PM »

Just looked and there are no more Kmarts and only one Sears left in all of New England.  There are only 9 Kmarts left within 100 miles of NYC, and also only 5 full service Sears left north and east of Philly (South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Newburgh, Brooklyn, Jersey City, and Sunrise Mall in Massapequa).

I know late last year there was a Kmart left in Hyannis MA but it closed at some point (it was also closing at 6 PM). Lebanon NH had one I think until late last year as well.

I haven't been to the South Shore Plaza in Braintree MA for a while. May have to go to check out what will probably be the last Sears remotely near me. It's weird that Sears has probably closed better locations to leave one open in a mall that has had multiple gang-related shootings in the past two years.

It strsngley makes sense though. Sears usually owns the building and property where they are located. The store closures often have much to do with the selling of the real estate. If there's conditions present that reduces the value of the land, such as the crime you mention, Sears is probably better off holding onto the store for a bit.

And the area might be under-retailed if it is in an actual high-crime, high-poverty area.
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ozarkman417

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #376 on: June 16, 2021, 02:16:11 PM »

My local Sears finally closed down in April of last year, though I was surprised to see how long it stayed open. I only figured out it closed around a month ago because I rarely go shopping in the big mall in my city anymore where the store was located. When I was a kid, that mall would be packed, but that isn't the case now, especially with the pandemic.
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roadman65

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #377 on: June 16, 2021, 04:15:18 PM »

The only Sears still open is in Orlando as Tampa and Lakeland are now closed.
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Sheryl Crowe

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #378 on: June 16, 2021, 04:55:11 PM »

Just looked and there are no more Kmarts and only one Sears left in all of New England.  There are only 9 Kmarts left within 100 miles of NYC, and also only 5 full service Sears left north and east of Philly (South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Newburgh, Brooklyn, Jersey City, and Sunrise Mall in Massapequa).

I know late last year there was a Kmart left in Hyannis MA but it closed at some point (it was also closing at 6 PM). Lebanon NH had one I think until late last year as well.

I haven't been to the South Shore Plaza in Braintree MA for a while. May have to go to check out what will probably be the last Sears remotely near me. It's weird that Sears has probably closed better locations to leave one open in a mall that has had multiple gang-related shootings in the past two years.

It strsngley makes sense though. Sears usually owns the building and property where they are located. The store closures often have much to do with the selling of the real estate. If there's conditions present that reduces the value of the land, such as the crime you mention, Sears is probably better off holding onto the store for a bit.

And the area might be under-retailed if it is in an actual high-crime, high-poverty area.

South Shore Plaza is owned by Simon in this case, so I am unsure if Sears owns their part of the mall. It's actually not nearly a high crime area, it's just sandwiched between two parts of the state that unfortunately bleed their problems into the epicenter between the two.
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I-39

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #379 on: June 16, 2021, 08:39:43 PM »

The Sears catalogue model was the low-tech spitting image of what the Amazon model became. All Sears had to do was transfer it to online in the 1990s and they might be at least holding their own against Walmart today.

Had they kept the catalog just 3 more years they could have made a seamless (for the time) transition. 1992 was the last year of the Big Book.

They essentially did try with Prodigy Online.  It was WAY too soon for online retail to be viable and it flopped.  Sears and IBM pulled their money out of Prodigy Online in 1997.

I think it was 1993 when Sears discontinued the catalog. And it was only 4 years later when they launched Sears.com on the WWW. Bad timing to say the least.

Yes, the downfall of Sears is inexcusable. Even with all the blunders they had made in the 80s/90s, they could have been resurrected in the last 15-20 years to become something like what Target has become for instance, but Eddie Lampert and to some extent, Alan Lacy (the last CEO before Eddie bought them) ran them into the ground.

I still think Walmart and Amazon would have surpassed Sears even if they had successfully reinvented themselves and moved their catalog business online, but at least Sears would be a solid #3 and a decent quality alternative to the Amazon/Walmart duopoly.
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GCrites80s

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #380 on: June 16, 2021, 09:52:16 PM »

Right, there was a minimum quality level with Sears that is two steps above Wal-Mart and miles away from Amazon's floor of throwaway garbage that often doesn't even work when brand new let alone last long enough to sell or give to someone else.
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kevinb1994

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #381 on: June 16, 2021, 10:13:35 PM »

The only Sears still open is in Orlando as Tampa and Lakeland are now closed.
Orlando’s a given being a tourist magnet.
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roadman65

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #382 on: June 16, 2021, 11:07:57 PM »

The only Sears still open is in Orlando as Tampa and Lakeland are now closed.
Orlando’s a given being a tourist magnet.

Yup. The Florida Mall.
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #383 on: June 17, 2021, 06:26:22 AM »

I had a thought yesterday that shopping malls will die out in all but the most underserved communities across America. By underserved, I mean places with little retail business, poor Internet access a low median income and lack of major roadway connections.

Maybe that is what TransformCo is doing.
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #384 on: June 17, 2021, 09:20:13 AM »

I would think at this point a full list of store that are actually open would be easier to post than a list of closed stores.  Really were are the open full Sears stores?
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edwaleni

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #385 on: June 17, 2021, 10:04:36 AM »

The Sears catalogue model was the low-tech spitting image of what the Amazon model became. All Sears had to do was transfer it to online in the 1990s and they might be at least holding their own against Walmart today.

Had they kept the catalog just 3 more years they could have made a seamless (for the time) transition. 1992 was the last year of the Big Book.

They essentially did try with Prodigy Online.  It was WAY too soon for online retail to be viable and it flopped.  Sears and IBM pulled their money out of Prodigy Online in 1997.

I think it was 1993 when Sears discontinued the catalog. And it was only 4 years later when they launched Sears.com on the WWW. Bad timing to say the least.

Yes, the downfall of Sears is inexcusable. Even with all the blunders they had made in the 80s/90s, they could have been resurrected in the last 15-20 years to become something like what Target has become for instance, but Eddie Lampert and to some extent, Alan Lacy (the last CEO before Eddie bought them) ran them into the ground.

I still think Walmart and Amazon would have surpassed Sears even if they had successfully reinvented themselves and moved their catalog business online, but at least Sears would be a solid #3 and a decent quality alternative to the Amazon/Walmart duopoly.

The shareholders would not tolerate any changes to their dividends to help fund the needed changes. It all had to come out of operational margins.

This would have worked in the 1970's when Sears was a cash flow engine. and into the early 80's. But they spent a lot of excess capital acquiring other non-strategic entities. Entities they later had to sell off as per store profits started their long term decline in the late 80's.

Sears management tried and tried many times in the early 90's to cut the dividend so they could recapitalize their target markets and all of the pension funds refused to permit it. Wall Street had become risk adverse.

Former Sears leadership took over Home Depot because the Sears BOD refused to buy them.  By the time the BOD approved the Sears Grand Central concept to compete with Wal-Mart, it was too little too late. The concept was a hit, but again, they couldn't put the capital together to execute it and they were all closed.

The list goes on ad-infinitum.

So instead of going through all of these so called "transformational changes" like AT&T does (and fool people over and over) every few years to keep Wall Street happy, Sears wasn't compelled to play the same silly game AT&T does to keep Wall Street at bay.

The list of worthless attempts at buys outs, mergers and new markets by AT&T is totally ridiculous, but Wall Street loves them because their churn looks like growth. But when you look at the list over the past 30 years, it has really become nothing but moving pieces around.

They haven't created anything.

If Sears had played the same game, they would have merged and spun off with several companies just like AT&T did. All to prop up that almighty dividend.
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Henry

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #386 on: June 17, 2021, 10:30:54 AM »

It really is sad how far the mighty have fallen...
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I-39

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #387 on: June 17, 2021, 12:12:42 PM »

The Sears catalogue model was the low-tech spitting image of what the Amazon model became. All Sears had to do was transfer it to online in the 1990s and they might be at least holding their own against Walmart today.

Had they kept the catalog just 3 more years they could have made a seamless (for the time) transition. 1992 was the last year of the Big Book.

They essentially did try with Prodigy Online.  It was WAY too soon for online retail to be viable and it flopped.  Sears and IBM pulled their money out of Prodigy Online in 1997.

I think it was 1993 when Sears discontinued the catalog. And it was only 4 years later when they launched Sears.com on the WWW. Bad timing to say the least.

Yes, the downfall of Sears is inexcusable. Even with all the blunders they had made in the 80s/90s, they could have been resurrected in the last 15-20 years to become something like what Target has become for instance, but Eddie Lampert and to some extent, Alan Lacy (the last CEO before Eddie bought them) ran them into the ground.

I still think Walmart and Amazon would have surpassed Sears even if they had successfully reinvented themselves and moved their catalog business online, but at least Sears would be a solid #3 and a decent quality alternative to the Amazon/Walmart duopoly.

The shareholders would not tolerate any changes to their dividends to help fund the needed changes. It all had to come out of operational margins.

This would have worked in the 1970's when Sears was a cash flow engine. and into the early 80's. But they spent a lot of excess capital acquiring other non-strategic entities. Entities they later had to sell off as per store profits started their long term decline in the late 80's.

Sears management tried and tried many times in the early 90's to cut the dividend so they could recapitalize their target markets and all of the pension funds refused to permit it. Wall Street had become risk adverse.

Former Sears leadership took over Home Depot because the Sears BOD refused to buy them.  By the time the BOD approved the Sears Grand Central concept to compete with Wal-Mart, it was too little too late. The concept was a hit, but again, they couldn't put the capital together to execute it and they were all closed.

The list goes on ad-infinitum.

So instead of going through all of these so called "transformational changes" like AT&T does (and fool people over and over) every few years to keep Wall Street happy, Sears wasn't compelled to play the same silly game AT&T does to keep Wall Street at bay.

The list of worthless attempts at buys outs, mergers and new markets by AT&T is totally ridiculous, but Wall Street loves them because their churn looks like growth. But when you look at the list over the past 30 years, it has really become nothing but moving pieces around.

They haven't created anything.

If Sears had played the same game, they would have merged and spun off with several companies just like AT&T did. All to prop up that almighty dividend.

My understanding was Home Depot couldn't be acquired because of too much anti-trust overlap.

You are correct that the purchases of Dean Witter, Coldwell Banker, etc, in the early 80s ate away at capital, but they sold them off in the early 90s to refocus on the core retail. The problem was they did it wrong, they closed the catalog business and tried to become an primarily apparel store under Arthur Martinez's leadership, all while keeping themselves as a primary mall based retailer.

What should have been done is modernizing (computerizing) the stores and supply chain, spinning off all of the Low B/C/D mall stores into freestanding strip mall locations and modernizing the catalog to prepare for the shift to e-commerce.
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GCrites80s

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #388 on: June 17, 2021, 12:34:20 PM »

Spinning an anchor store off from the malls wouldn't have helped in most cases in the past. It might help inline stores in a lot of cases (mall gets slow, also control over hours is a common concern) but it doesn't help anchors since they have their own entrance and the mall was letting them stay there basically for free. If they go standalone they have to build a building, buy land or pay a mountain of rent to someone who isn't going to give them a good guy deal like the malls did. Especially in areas with difficult terrain where you have to blast out a mountain to build.
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I-39

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #389 on: June 17, 2021, 01:41:41 PM »

Spinning an anchor store off from the malls wouldn't have helped in most cases in the past. It might help inline stores in a lot of cases (mall gets slow, also control over hours is a common concern) but it doesn't help anchors since they have their own entrance and the mall was letting them stay there basically for free. If they go standalone they have to build a building, buy land or pay a mountain of rent to someone who isn't going to give them a good guy deal like the malls did. Especially in areas with difficult terrain where you have to blast out a mountain to build.

Spinning off the B/C mall locations would have helped, as there were declining amounts of foot traffic in those malls anyway. Sears should have only kept anchors in A and high end B malls, the rest become freestanding locations. While far from the only reason for their downfall, having locations primarily on malls, and having too many different prototypes, was a big factor in how they got to where they are.
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #390 on: June 17, 2021, 02:00:45 PM »

Spinning an anchor store off from the malls wouldn't have helped in most cases in the past. It might help inline stores in a lot of cases (mall gets slow, also control over hours is a common concern) but it doesn't help anchors since they have their own entrance and the mall was letting them stay there basically for free. If they go standalone they have to build a building, buy land or pay a mountain of rent to someone who isn't going to give them a good guy deal like the malls did. Especially in areas with difficult terrain where you have to blast out a mountain to build.

Spinning off the B/C mall locations would have helped, as there were declining amounts of foot traffic in those malls anyway. Sears should have only kept anchors in A and high end B malls, the rest become freestanding locations. While far from the only reason for their downfall, having locations primarily on malls, and having too many different prototypes, was a big factor in how they got to where they are.
I live near such a mall and our Sears closed last November.
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OCGuy81

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #391 on: June 17, 2021, 02:01:47 PM »

The Sears catalogue model was the low-tech spitting image of what the Amazon model became. All Sears had to do was transfer it to online in the 1990s and they might be at least holding their own against Walmart today.

Had they kept the catalog just 3 more years they could have made a seamless (for the time) transition. 1992 was the last year of the Big Book.

They essentially did try with Prodigy Online.  It was WAY too soon for online retail to be viable and it flopped.  Sears and IBM pulled their money out of Prodigy Online in 1997.

I think it was 1993 when Sears discontinued the catalog. And it was only 4 years later when they launched Sears.com on the WWW. Bad timing to say the least.

Yes, the downfall of Sears is inexcusable. Even with all the blunders they had made in the 80s/90s, they could have been resurrected in the last 15-20 years to become something like what Target has become for instance, but Eddie Lampert and to some extent, Alan Lacy (the last CEO before Eddie bought them) ran them into the ground.

I still think Walmart and Amazon would have surpassed Sears even if they had successfully reinvented themselves and moved their catalog business online, but at least Sears would be a solid #3 and a decent quality alternative to the Amazon/Walmart duopoly.

Oh man!  The catalog used to be great! As a kid growing up in the 80s, it was a right of passage around Christmas each year to go through and circle 90 percent of the toys and video games featured!

JC Penny had a big one they put out at the holidays too.  Speaking of....is it too soon to bring THAT store into this conversation?
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #392 on: June 17, 2021, 02:14:59 PM »

The Sears catalogue model was the low-tech spitting image of what the Amazon model became. All Sears had to do was transfer it to online in the 1990s and they might be at least holding their own against Walmart today.

Had they kept the catalog just 3 more years they could have made a seamless (for the time) transition. 1992 was the last year of the Big Book.

They essentially did try with Prodigy Online.  It was WAY too soon for online retail to be viable and it flopped.  Sears and IBM pulled their money out of Prodigy Online in 1997.

I think it was 1993 when Sears discontinued the catalog. And it was only 4 years later when they launched Sears.com on the WWW. Bad timing to say the least.

Yes, the downfall of Sears is inexcusable. Even with all the blunders they had made in the 80s/90s, they could have been resurrected in the last 15-20 years to become something like what Target has become for instance, but Eddie Lampert and to some extent, Alan Lacy (the last CEO before Eddie bought them) ran them into the ground.

I still think Walmart and Amazon would have surpassed Sears even if they had successfully reinvented themselves and moved their catalog business online, but at least Sears would be a solid #3 and a decent quality alternative to the Amazon/Walmart duopoly.

Oh man!  The catalog used to be great! As a kid growing up in the 80s, it was a right of passage around Christmas each year to go through and circle 90 percent of the toys and video games featured!

JC Penny had a big one they put out at the holidays too.  Speaking of....is it too soon to bring THAT store into this conversation?

Circling the toys and games wanted was a treat.  Great times.
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RobbieL2415

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #393 on: June 17, 2021, 02:21:20 PM »

The Sears catalogue model was the low-tech spitting image of what the Amazon model became. All Sears had to do was transfer it to online in the 1990s and they might be at least holding their own against Walmart today.

Had they kept the catalog just 3 more years they could have made a seamless (for the time) transition. 1992 was the last year of the Big Book.

They essentially did try with Prodigy Online.  It was WAY too soon for online retail to be viable and it flopped.  Sears and IBM pulled their money out of Prodigy Online in 1997.

I think it was 1993 when Sears discontinued the catalog. And it was only 4 years later when they launched Sears.com on the WWW. Bad timing to say the least.

Yes, the downfall of Sears is inexcusable. Even with all the blunders they had made in the 80s/90s, they could have been resurrected in the last 15-20 years to become something like what Target has become for instance, but Eddie Lampert and to some extent, Alan Lacy (the last CEO before Eddie bought them) ran them into the ground.

I still think Walmart and Amazon would have surpassed Sears even if they had successfully reinvented themselves and moved their catalog business online, but at least Sears would be a solid #3 and a decent quality alternative to the Amazon/Walmart duopoly.

Oh man!  The catalog used to be great! As a kid growing up in the 80s, it was a right of passage around Christmas each year to go through and circle 90 percent of the toys and video games featured!

JC Penny had a big one they put out at the holidays too.  Speaking of....is it too soon to bring THAT store into this conversation?
They filed for bankruptcy last year and Simon Properties Group took them private.

Penny's had the advantage of not having Eddie Lampert as CEO. They actually gave a shit about innovation.
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I-39

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #394 on: June 17, 2021, 03:01:24 PM »

The Sears catalogue model was the low-tech spitting image of what the Amazon model became. All Sears had to do was transfer it to online in the 1990s and they might be at least holding their own against Walmart today.

Had they kept the catalog just 3 more years they could have made a seamless (for the time) transition. 1992 was the last year of the Big Book.

They essentially did try with Prodigy Online.  It was WAY too soon for online retail to be viable and it flopped.  Sears and IBM pulled their money out of Prodigy Online in 1997.

I think it was 1993 when Sears discontinued the catalog. And it was only 4 years later when they launched Sears.com on the WWW. Bad timing to say the least.

Yes, the downfall of Sears is inexcusable. Even with all the blunders they had made in the 80s/90s, they could have been resurrected in the last 15-20 years to become something like what Target has become for instance, but Eddie Lampert and to some extent, Alan Lacy (the last CEO before Eddie bought them) ran them into the ground.

I still think Walmart and Amazon would have surpassed Sears even if they had successfully reinvented themselves and moved their catalog business online, but at least Sears would be a solid #3 and a decent quality alternative to the Amazon/Walmart duopoly.

Oh man!  The catalog used to be great! As a kid growing up in the 80s, it was a right of passage around Christmas each year to go through and circle 90 percent of the toys and video games featured!

JC Penny had a big one they put out at the holidays too.  Speaking of....is it too soon to bring THAT store into this conversation?
They filed for bankruptcy last year and Simon Properties Group took them private.

Penny's had the advantage of not having Eddie Lampert as CEO. They actually gave a shit about innovation.

I except they'll go away eventually as well, their business fundamentals are still terrible. Them and Kohls don't really serve a purpose anymore. Too pricy to compete with Walmart/Target/Amazon and not nice enough to compare with Nordstrom/Bloomingdales and even Macy's to some extent.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2021, 03:04:29 PM by I-39 »
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OCGuy81

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #395 on: June 17, 2021, 03:20:09 PM »

The Sears catalogue model was the low-tech spitting image of what the Amazon model became. All Sears had to do was transfer it to online in the 1990s and they might be at least holding their own against Walmart today.

Had they kept the catalog just 3 more years they could have made a seamless (for the time) transition. 1992 was the last year of the Big Book.

They essentially did try with Prodigy Online.  It was WAY too soon for online retail to be viable and it flopped.  Sears and IBM pulled their money out of Prodigy Online in 1997.

I think it was 1993 when Sears discontinued the catalog. And it was only 4 years later when they launched Sears.com on the WWW. Bad timing to say the least.

Yes, the downfall of Sears is inexcusable. Even with all the blunders they had made in the 80s/90s, they could have been resurrected in the last 15-20 years to become something like what Target has become for instance, but Eddie Lampert and to some extent, Alan Lacy (the last CEO before Eddie bought them) ran them into the ground.

I still think Walmart and Amazon would have surpassed Sears even if they had successfully reinvented themselves and moved their catalog business online, but at least Sears would be a solid #3 and a decent quality alternative to the Amazon/Walmart duopoly.

Oh man!  The catalog used to be great! As a kid growing up in the 80s, it was a right of passage around Christmas each year to go through and circle 90 percent of the toys and video games featured!

JC Penny had a big one they put out at the holidays too.  Speaking of....is it too soon to bring THAT store into this conversation?
They filed for bankruptcy last year and Simon Properties Group took them private.

Penny's had the advantage of not having Eddie Lampert as CEO. They actually gave a shit about innovation.

I except they'll go away eventually as well, their business fundamentals are still terrible. Them and Kohls don't really serve a purpose anymore. Too pricy to compete with Walmart/Target/Amazon and not nice enough to compare with Nordstrom/Bloomingdales and even Macy's to some extent.

I'd say Macy's is easily the next to go on life support.  That could also be the swan song for a lot of malls, as Macy's in many situations is the only remaining anchor store.
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I-39

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #396 on: June 17, 2021, 04:34:07 PM »

The Sears catalogue model was the low-tech spitting image of what the Amazon model became. All Sears had to do was transfer it to online in the 1990s and they might be at least holding their own against Walmart today.

Had they kept the catalog just 3 more years they could have made a seamless (for the time) transition. 1992 was the last year of the Big Book.

They essentially did try with Prodigy Online.  It was WAY too soon for online retail to be viable and it flopped.  Sears and IBM pulled their money out of Prodigy Online in 1997.

I think it was 1993 when Sears discontinued the catalog. And it was only 4 years later when they launched Sears.com on the WWW. Bad timing to say the least.

Yes, the downfall of Sears is inexcusable. Even with all the blunders they had made in the 80s/90s, they could have been resurrected in the last 15-20 years to become something like what Target has become for instance, but Eddie Lampert and to some extent, Alan Lacy (the last CEO before Eddie bought them) ran them into the ground.

I still think Walmart and Amazon would have surpassed Sears even if they had successfully reinvented themselves and moved their catalog business online, but at least Sears would be a solid #3 and a decent quality alternative to the Amazon/Walmart duopoly.

Oh man!  The catalog used to be great! As a kid growing up in the 80s, it was a right of passage around Christmas each year to go through and circle 90 percent of the toys and video games featured!

JC Penny had a big one they put out at the holidays too.  Speaking of....is it too soon to bring THAT store into this conversation?
They filed for bankruptcy last year and Simon Properties Group took them private.

Penny's had the advantage of not having Eddie Lampert as CEO. They actually gave a shit about innovation.

I except they'll go away eventually as well, their business fundamentals are still terrible. Them and Kohls don't really serve a purpose anymore. Too pricy to compete with Walmart/Target/Amazon and not nice enough to compare with Nordstrom/Bloomingdales and even Macy's to some extent.

I'd say Macy's is easily the next to go on life support.  That could also be the swan song for a lot of malls, as Macy's in many situations is the only remaining anchor store.

I actually think Macy’s could survive as a niche retailer. IMO, their e-commerce is among the best in the traditional department store business. Plus, they are a shade or two nicer than JCPenney and Kohl’s, both of whom seem to be lost and have no clear strategy going forward.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2021, 04:36:36 PM by I-39 »
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Rothman

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #397 on: June 17, 2021, 04:45:09 PM »

The Sears catalogue model was the low-tech spitting image of what the Amazon model became. All Sears had to do was transfer it to online in the 1990s and they might be at least holding their own against Walmart today.

Had they kept the catalog just 3 more years they could have made a seamless (for the time) transition. 1992 was the last year of the Big Book.

They essentially did try with Prodigy Online.  It was WAY too soon for online retail to be viable and it flopped.  Sears and IBM pulled their money out of Prodigy Online in 1997.

I think it was 1993 when Sears discontinued the catalog. And it was only 4 years later when they launched Sears.com on the WWW. Bad timing to say the least.

Yes, the downfall of Sears is inexcusable. Even with all the blunders they had made in the 80s/90s, they could have been resurrected in the last 15-20 years to become something like what Target has become for instance, but Eddie Lampert and to some extent, Alan Lacy (the last CEO before Eddie bought them) ran them into the ground.

I still think Walmart and Amazon would have surpassed Sears even if they had successfully reinvented themselves and moved their catalog business online, but at least Sears would be a solid #3 and a decent quality alternative to the Amazon/Walmart duopoly.

Oh man!  The catalog used to be great! As a kid growing up in the 80s, it was a right of passage around Christmas each year to go through and circle 90 percent of the toys and video games featured!

JC Penny had a big one they put out at the holidays too.  Speaking of....is it too soon to bring THAT store into this conversation?
They filed for bankruptcy last year and Simon Properties Group took them private.

Penny's had the advantage of not having Eddie Lampert as CEO. They actually gave a shit about innovation.

I except they'll go away eventually as well, their business fundamentals are still terrible. Them and Kohls don't really serve a purpose anymore. Too pricy to compete with Walmart/Target/Amazon and not nice enough to compare with Nordstrom/Bloomingdales and even Macy's to some extent.

I'd say Macy's is easily the next to go on life support.  That could also be the swan song for a lot of malls, as Macy's in many situations is the only remaining anchor store.

I actually think Macy’s could survive as a niche retailer. IMO, their e-commerce is among the best in the traditional department store business. Plus, they are a shade or two nicer than JCPenney and Kohl’s, both of whom seem to be lost and have no clear strategy going forward.
I don't know.  I think Kohl's coupons remain popular amongst their loyal customers.  That said, I have given up on them given how destroyed their clothes racks are.  They just can't stay on top of keeping them organized.  Even Walmart has them beat in that regard.
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I-39

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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #398 on: June 17, 2021, 06:44:54 PM »

I don't know.  I think Kohl's coupons remain popular amongst their loyal customers.  That said, I have given up on them given how destroyed their clothes racks are.  They just can't stay on top of keeping them organized.  Even Walmart has them beat in that regard.

Last couple of times making an Amazon return at Kohl’s, I saw few people actually shopping. Their merchandise was/is overpriced and not much better than Target IMO. Macy’s seemed a bit better IMO.
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Re: Sears-Kmart Death Watch
« Reply #399 on: June 17, 2021, 09:10:05 PM »

The Sears catalogue model was the low-tech spitting image of what the Amazon model became. All Sears had to do was transfer it to online in the 1990s and they might be at least holding their own against Walmart today.

Had they kept the catalog just 3 more years they could have made a seamless (for the time) transition. 1992 was the last year of the Big Book.

They essentially did try with Prodigy Online.  It was WAY too soon for online retail to be viable and it flopped.  Sears and IBM pulled their money out of Prodigy Online in 1997.

I think it was 1993 when Sears discontinued the catalog. And it was only 4 years later when they launched Sears.com on the WWW. Bad timing to say the least.

Yes, the downfall of Sears is inexcusable. Even with all the blunders they had made in the 80s/90s, they could have been resurrected in the last 15-20 years to become something like what Target has become for instance, but Eddie Lampert and to some extent, Alan Lacy (the last CEO before Eddie bought them) ran them into the ground.

I still think Walmart and Amazon would have surpassed Sears even if they had successfully reinvented themselves and moved their catalog business online, but at least Sears would be a solid #3 and a decent quality alternative to the Amazon/Walmart duopoly.

Oh man!  The catalog used to be great! As a kid growing up in the 80s, it was a right of passage around Christmas each year to go through and circle 90 percent of the toys and video games featured!

JC Penny had a big one they put out at the holidays too.  Speaking of....is it too soon to bring THAT store into this conversation?
They filed for bankruptcy last year and Simon Properties Group took them private.

Penny's had the advantage of not having Eddie Lampert as CEO. They actually gave a shit about innovation.

I except they'll go away eventually as well, their business fundamentals are still terrible. Them and Kohls don't really serve a purpose anymore. Too pricy to compete with Walmart/Target/Amazon and not nice enough to compare with Nordstrom/Bloomingdales and even Macy's to some extent.
So where will those of us still in the middle class, who want something better quality than WalMart/Target but not as expensive as Nordstrom/etc. and who don't stop online, go for clothes?  Do WalMart and Target even have office attire?
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