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Author Topic: More Kmart stores closing  (Read 80296 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2016, 10:19:38 PM »

Wait Sears had plans to be what Amazon app and eBay are today? Then how did eBay and Amazon managed to succeed in ideas that sears had in mind back in the 1980's and 1990's.

Well, Prodigy was a long, long way from Amazon.  Prodigy was basically an ISP in which members were in a walled garden.  So no access to the web in general.  Their model was users paid a monthly service charge and got content that Prodigy provided, and the content wasn't really all that great and you couldn't get out to see content that other companies or folks playing on the web put up.  It wasn't a place to buy physical items.

Yes and you're only talking about a couple million subscribers at it's prime with Prodigy.  There was even a time where I seem to recall having to pay for minutes online before the monthly rates.  The really popular things on Prodigy turned out to be things like the chat boards which they screwed the pooch on by moderating the shit out of.  When you think about the R&D it took to build all that only to have things like AOL come along with open access to the internet and little moderation it made sense why people made the jump back then.  More so it's easy to understand why Sears and IBM decided to say "screw it" since at the time it would have taken a lot of time on top of money to keep building up the online marketing....which wasn't helped by the closed network.

Personally I really liked the old video bulletin boards, sports tickers, and some of the games that they had online.  Online chess and checkers was always fun but I really liked to sit around playing Mad Maze for hours.  Apparently Mad Maze is still hosted on a private server even though the game was never fully complete.

Yeah, I had forgotten that and I was even a Prodigy customer.  Sears would put free floppy disks of the Prodigy software in the bag when you bought something.  I even think I ordered a few things, maybe not from Sears, but some outfit.

Sears had its own distribution system, which was "free".  It charged extra for UPS or USPS.  They had 10 or 12 huge warehouses across the country, my area was served by Greensboro, and then had 1000s of "catalog stores" which were just private package post offices with a few tools and other items on display.  You went to the counter and picked up your package.   If you take that infastructure and scale it up, you run rings around Amazon.  But Sears pissed it all away.

Yeah Sears used to have the catalog market covered, especially during the holiday season.  I loved flipping through those old things when I was a kid to see what toys were coming out. 

« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 10:23:45 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2016, 10:25:26 PM »

K-Mart is the ghetto of the big chain stores.

At least I think they are still doing pre-employment drug test.  Wal-Mart stopping doing though to make your shopping experience more meth-tastic.
That's how they can work overnight shifts
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2016, 10:34:14 PM »

K-Mart is the ghetto of the big chain stores.

At least I think they are still doing pre-employment drug test.  Wal-Mart stopping doing though to make your shopping experience more meth-tastic.
That's how they can work overnight shifts

I think that it has more to do with Wal-Mart trying to find something to offset the costs of boosting the minimum pay company wide.  Drug testing would be an easy slash, especially if you expect 50% turnover on any given year.  It doesn't really say much for safety standards though possibly having a druggie riding a fork lift that could have been screened out before their start date.

briantroutman

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2016, 11:39:07 PM »

Firstly, Sears could easily be lumped in with JCPenney, Red Lobster—even Howard Johnson’s—all of which appealed to the very middle-est of the middle class. As that previously broad group of factory workers, tradesmen, and middle managers has largely been hollowed out and divided into lower and upper middle classes, it was almost unavoidable that Sears would have a great deal to lose.

That said, I think Sears could have handled its inevitable fall from the top a little more adeptly, although I disagree with the notion that Sears was poised for success and just dropped its mail order and online divisions a little too early.

Even if the company had made a more concerted effort to break into e-commerce, I don’t think Sears could have been Amazon because it was an organization too steeped in century-old blue chip thinking. I doubt the suits who brought you the carefully written Wish Book ever would have allowed customers to write their own reviews—“What if they say something bad about the product? Why, I never!” Such a large and bureaucratic entity couldn’t foster the kind of disruptive thinking that builds empires in the Internet era.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2016, 11:41:23 PM »

Firstly, Sears could easily be easily lumped in with JCPenney, Red Lobster—even Howard Johnson’s—all of which appealed to the very middle-est of the middle class. As that previously broad group of factory workers, tradesmen, and middle managers has largely been hollowed out and divided into lower and upper middle classes, it was almost unavoidable that Sears would have a great deal to lose.

That said, I think Sears could have handled its inevitable fall from the top a little more adeptly, although I disagree with the notion that Sears was poised for success and just dropped their mail order and online divisions a little too early.

Even if had the company made a more concerted effort to break into e-commerce, I don’t think Sears could have been Amazon because it was an organization too steeped in century-old blue chip thinking. I doubt the suits who brought you the carefully written Wish Book ever would have allowed customers to right their own reviews—“What if they say something bad about the product? Why, I never!” Such a large and bureaucratic entity couldn’t foster the kind of disruptive thinking that builds empires in the Internet era.

But there in lies the irony.  The perception of the early online world was that it was something that could be packaged and controlled by a huge  corporate entity.  Even though it turned into a disaster, one or two moves different with allowing a more loosely controlled approach may have changed the entire landscape of online retail in today's world.  It's just amusing that Sears was such a big early pusher of purchasing merchandise online considering how ancient the company really was even by 1980s and 1990s standards. 

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2016, 08:10:10 AM »

Well I remember 2 decades ago when Amazon.com now Amazon Inc LLC came out their original business model was to go after Barnes and Noble, Crown Books, and other bookstores at the time.  Now Amazon is now known for taking down big box stores, malls and department stores thats how 20 years have changed. EBay started out as an online version of "American Pickers" now that too became the biggest store in America too.

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inkyatari

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2016, 09:23:59 AM »

Honestly, I'm surprised the one in Joliet was open still. we went in about 6 months ago, and the place looked like no money was spent in upgrading the store in 20 years. It looked closer to a flea market than a K-Mart.

It's sad, because growing up, that was the only place in town to shop until the malls came in around 1975.
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Brandon

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2016, 09:57:40 AM »

Honestly, I'm surprised the one in Joliet was open still. we went in about 6 months ago, and the place looked like no money was spent in upgrading the store in 20 years. It looked closer to a flea market than a K-Mart.

It's sad, because growing up, that was the only place in town to shop until the malls came in around 1975.

That store was opened in 1966 or so.  However, there was plenty to shop at in town before 1975.  Sears, Penney's, Woolworth's, Kline's, Boston Store (no relation to the current Milwaukee one), Carson's, and Ward's were all downtown, and there was also Hillcrest, opened in 1959 with Boston Store and Goldblatt's.  That was a 30 store open air mall that was demalled by 1980.  You're also forgetting Zayre (Jackson Street), Topps (Marycrest - became a Dominick's), and Gaylord's (across from Hillcrest).
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Brandon

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2016, 10:07:52 AM »

Firstly, Sears could easily be lumped in with JCPenney, Red Lobster—even Howard Johnson’s—all of which appealed to the very middle-est of the middle class. As that previously broad group of factory workers, tradesmen, and middle managers has largely been hollowed out and divided into lower and upper middle classes, it was almost unavoidable that Sears would have a great deal to lose.

I'm no so sure I buy that completely.  JCPenney has managed to do rather well when they get back to basics (selling decent clothing, towels, sheets, shoes, etc) and away from trends (like the Ron Johnson fiasco).  Others that sell to this price point include Kohl's and Target.  Sears screwed the pooch when they first had a mismatch between their hard lines (middle to high end) and their soft lines (decidedly low end), and then by being nonchalant on customer service.  It was ultimately their approach (really, lack thereof) to customer service that did them in.  Red Lobster is still around, but other seafood places have come along that do a far better job of it.  As for Howard Johnson's...

Howard Johnson's helped then really hurt themselves with their approach to food consistency.  They helped themselves by making the food consistent over the entire chain.  They hurt themselves by cooking it all in a commissary and flash freezing it, only to be reheated at the restaurant.  No matter what you do, reheated food tastes like reheated food, and all it takes is someone using fresh food, and doing the same type of consistent food to put a major dent in your business.  People like fresh food, not flash frozen nuked food.  Howard Johnson's, for all their nostalgia, probably tasted like a modern TV dinner.  Which is good as long as your competition is worse.  Which would you rather have, a TV dinner, or freshly cooked food?
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jdb1234

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2016, 10:27:46 AM »

K-Mart is the ghetto of the big chain stores.

At least I think they are still doing pre-employment drug test.  Wal-Mart stopping doing though to make your shopping experience more meth-tastic.
That's how they can work overnight shifts

I had to pass a drug test to work night shift when I was hired at Walmart back in 2012.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2016, 10:33:34 AM »

K-Mart is the ghetto of the big chain stores.

At least I think they are still doing pre-employment drug test.  Wal-Mart stopping doing though to make your shopping experience more meth-tastic.
That's how they can work overnight shifts

I had to pass a drug test to work night shift when I was hired at Walmart back in 2012.

They got rid of them since.

inkyatari

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2016, 11:54:48 AM »

Honestly, I'm surprised the one in Joliet was open still. we went in about 6 months ago, and the place looked like no money was spent in upgrading the store in 20 years. It looked closer to a flea market than a K-Mart.

It's sad, because growing up, that was the only place in town to shop until the malls came in around 1975.

That store was opened in 1966 or so.  However, there was plenty to shop at in town before 1975.  Sears, Penney's, Woolworth's, Kline's, Boston Store (no relation to the current Milwaukee one), Carson's, and Ward's were all downtown, and there was also Hillcrest, opened in 1959 with Boston Store and Goldblatt's.  That was a 30 store open air mall that was demalled by 1980.  You're also forgetting Zayre (Jackson Street), Topps (Marycrest - became a Dominick's), and Gaylord's (across from Hillcrest).

I actualy totally forgot about all those, having grown up in the shadow of the Louis Joliet Mall, watching it being built from inside the house I grew up in.
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inkyatari

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2016, 11:58:13 AM »


I'm no so sure I buy that completely.  JCPenney has managed to do rather well when they get back to basics (selling decent clothing, towels, sheets, shoes, etc) and away from trends (like the Ron Johnson fiasco).  Others that sell to this price point include Kohl's and Target.  Sears screwed the pooch when they first had a mismatch between their hard lines (middle to high end) and their soft lines (decidedly low end), and then by being nonchalant on customer service.  It was ultimately their approach (really, lack thereof) to customer service that did them in.  Red Lobster is still around, but other seafood places have come along that do a far better job of it.  As for Howard Johnson's...

Howard Johnson's helped then really hurt themselves with their approach to food consistency.  They helped themselves by making the food consistent over the entire chain.  They hurt themselves by cooking it all in a commissary and flash freezing it, only to be reheated at the restaurant.  No matter what you do, reheated food tastes like reheated food, and all it takes is someone using fresh food, and doing the same type of consistent food to put a major dent in your business.  People like fresh food, not flash frozen nuked food.  Howard Johnson's, for all their nostalgia, probably tasted like a modern TV dinner.  Which is good as long as your competition is worse.  Which would you rather have, a TV dinner, or freshly cooked food?

I had no idea that HoJo cooked everything in a commisary (like Taco Bell does) then flash froze everything only to be reheated.  I learn something new everyday.

One of the big modern issues with Sears / KMart is that their website is a huge cluster.  They don't get online retailing (as far as I see it.)
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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2016, 02:06:34 PM »

Firstly, Sears could easily be easily lumped in with JCPenney, Red Lobster—even Howard Johnson’s—all of which appealed to the very middle-est of the middle class. As that previously broad group of factory workers, tradesmen, and middle managers has largely been hollowed out and divided into lower and upper middle classes, it was almost unavoidable that Sears would have a great deal to lose.

That said, I think Sears could have handled its inevitable fall from the top a little more adeptly, although I disagree with the notion that Sears was poised for success and just dropped their mail order and online divisions a little too early.

Even if had the company made a more concerted effort to break into e-commerce, I don’t think Sears could have been Amazon because it was an organization too steeped in century-old blue chip thinking. I doubt the suits who brought you the carefully written Wish Book ever would have allowed customers to right their own reviews—“What if they say something bad about the product? Why, I never!” Such a large and bureaucratic entity couldn’t foster the kind of disruptive thinking that builds empires in the Internet era.

But there in lies the irony.  The perception of the early online world was that it was something that could be packaged and controlled by a huge  corporate entity.  Even though it turned into a disaster, one or two moves different with allowing a more loosely controlled approach may have changed the entire landscape of online retail in today's world.  It's just amusing that Sears was such a big early pusher of purchasing merchandise online considering how ancient the company really was even by 1980s and 1990s standards. 
Interestingly enough, Facebook is doing something similar in the developing world, and it definitely seems like the internet is morphing into something more resembling cable rather than the free-flowing, non-corporate experience that dominated the mid/late 90s and 2000s.  Mobile phones appear to be leaving the web entirely in favor of proprietary apps.
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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #39 on: September 22, 2016, 02:56:34 PM »


As to its stores, Sears and K-Mart both should be looked at more as real estate companies than stores, because it owns many of its stores.  Especially in malls, where Sears would "make" a mall by demanding ownership of its space and then the mall would make its money from the inside stores. 

Heh, there's a mall here that is completely closed, and actually condemned by the township. Good ol' Sears keeps chugging along, however.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #40 on: September 22, 2016, 09:59:56 PM »


I'm no so sure I buy that completely.  JCPenney has managed to do rather well when they get back to basics (selling decent clothing, towels, sheets, shoes, etc) and away from trends (like the Ron Johnson fiasco).  Others that sell to this price point include Kohl's and Target.  Sears screwed the pooch when they first had a mismatch between their hard lines (middle to high end) and their soft lines (decidedly low end), and then by being nonchalant on customer service.  It was ultimately their approach (really, lack thereof) to customer service that did them in.  Red Lobster is still around, but other seafood places have come along that do a far better job of it.  As for Howard Johnson's...

Howard Johnson's helped then really hurt themselves with their approach to food consistency.  They helped themselves by making the food consistent over the entire chain.  They hurt themselves by cooking it all in a commissary and flash freezing it, only to be reheated at the restaurant.  No matter what you do, reheated food tastes like reheated food, and all it takes is someone using fresh food, and doing the same type of consistent food to put a major dent in your business.  People like fresh food, not flash frozen nuked food.  Howard Johnson's, for all their nostalgia, probably tasted like a modern TV dinner.  Which is good as long as your competition is worse.  Which would you rather have, a TV dinner, or freshly cooked food?

I had no idea that HoJo cooked everything in a commisary (like Taco Bell does) then flash froze everything only to be reheated.  I learn something new everyday.

One of the big modern issues with Sears / KMart is that their website is a huge cluster.  They don't get online retailing (as far as I see it.)

All the more ironic that Sears was the company who tried to pioneer it.  :rolleyes:

Firstly, Sears could easily be easily lumped in with JCPenney, Red Lobster—even Howard Johnson’s—all of which appealed to the very middle-est of the middle class. As that previously broad group of factory workers, tradesmen, and middle managers has largely been hollowed out and divided into lower and upper middle classes, it was almost unavoidable that Sears would have a great deal to lose.

That said, I think Sears could have handled its inevitable fall from the top a little more adeptly, although I disagree with the notion that Sears was poised for success and just dropped their mail order and online divisions a little too early.

Even if had the company made a more concerted effort to break into e-commerce, I don’t think Sears could have been Amazon because it was an organization too steeped in century-old blue chip thinking. I doubt the suits who brought you the carefully written Wish Book ever would have allowed customers to right their own reviews—“What if they say something bad about the product? Why, I never!” Such a large and bureaucratic entity couldn’t foster the kind of disruptive thinking that builds empires in the Internet era.

But there in lies the irony.  The perception of the early online world was that it was something that could be packaged and controlled by a huge  corporate entity.  Even though it turned into a disaster, one or two moves different with allowing a more loosely controlled approach may have changed the entire landscape of online retail in today's world.  It's just amusing that Sears was such a big early pusher of purchasing merchandise online considering how ancient the company really was even by 1980s and 1990s standards. 
Interestingly enough, Facebook is doing something similar in the developing world, and it definitely seems like the internet is morphing into something more resembling cable rather than the free-flowing, non-corporate experience that dominated the mid/late 90s and 2000s.  Mobile phones appear to be leaving the web entirely in favor of proprietary apps.

Yeah amazing how almost everything comes full circle sooner or later.  The funny part to it is that a lot of internet pioneers were usually from nothing companies that grew into some pretty damn large companies.  It's amazing how much control companies like Google, eBay, Amazon, and Youtube really have in today's market when they were basically nothing two decades back.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 10:02:11 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #41 on: September 23, 2016, 12:07:18 AM »

Amazingly, this relic is not on the closing list.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2298/2216414717_b3a3b38681.jpg
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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #42 on: September 23, 2016, 12:09:17 AM »

K-Mart is the ghetto of the big chain stores.

At least I think they are still doing pre-employment drug test.  Wal-Mart stopping doing though to make your shopping experience more meth-tastic.
That's how they can work overnight shifts

I had to pass a drug test to work night shift when I was hired at Walmart back in 2012.

They got rid of them since.

I'm a supervisor at a Walmart, and yes, we still do drug testing for all new hires. I've been in the room when the applicant has been told they have 24 hours to report to the hospital for the test or the job offer is rescinded. Anytime an employee has an accident where they have to go to the doctor, they are also drug tested.
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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #43 on: September 23, 2016, 11:41:41 AM »

Amazingly, this relic is not on the closing list.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2298/2216414717_b3a3b38681.jpg

Where is this Kmart located? And what year did the photo take place?
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2016, 05:26:42 PM »

Amazingly, this relic is not on the closing list.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2298/2216414717_b3a3b38681.jpg

Where is this Kmart located? And what year did the photo take place?

Watertown, CT.  Here's a GSV shot from July of 2015: https://goo.gl/maps/F5Q6F3CBqky
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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2016, 08:57:47 PM »

^Huh, it's got a Saab and Isuzu dealership right across from it.
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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2016, 09:18:22 PM »

^Huh, it's got a Saab and Isuzu dealership right across from it.
and Audi ;)
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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #47 on: September 25, 2016, 09:44:43 PM »

That's hilariously appropriate.
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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2016, 07:29:30 AM »

Someone argued here with me that K Mart bought out Sears and not Sears buying K Mart.  Well that is ironic considering that Sears is still around and K Mart has been closing stores over the past two decades.  The stumbling retailer is the owner of one that is somewhat surviving.  Maybe they need to manage their last few stores like they do their Sears brand stores.
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Re: More Kmart stores closing
« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2016, 09:43:48 AM »

Someone argued here with me that K Mart bought out Sears and not Sears buying K Mart.  Well that is ironic considering that Sears is still around and K Mart has been closing stores over the past two decades.  The stumbling retailer is the owner of one that is somewhat surviving.  Maybe they need to manage their last few stores like they do their Sears brand stores.

Basically if Kmart had gone bankrupt like it did back in 2003 it likely wouldn't come out as intact nor have a shady hedge fund manager come around to swoop it up on the cheap:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/6509683/ns/business-stocks_and_economy/t/kmart-acquire-sears-billion-deal/#.V-p2iTVITIU

 


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