Another Sears Bites the Dust

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morton

I live for the CABE
Nov 9, 2007
1,638
York, United States
I had mentioned in an earlier post that I didn't think this store (York, PA) would last the new year. Sadly I was correct. It's closing was announced today.

About 2 years ago they started having some great sales on some of the bike items they carried like wireless speedos at $9, balloon tires for $5.50. I stocked up and started making regular visits but the sales soon ended.

But you could see the store was slowly dying. First the auto department went away and they filled that area with cheap looking seasonal merchandise. Then it finally hit me that the Craftsman tools were all made in China...ugh. I can buy that crap at flea markets for less.

At times the tool department, garden department, and seasonal department were staffed (sic) with only 1 person, And usually this person had little knowledge of any of the products.

The few bikes they carried were cheap looking and priced about $40 to $50 higher than chinamart.

At one time I bought a lot of things from Sears because they had a local repair shop if anything you bought needed parts or repair but that went away years ago.

They became a textbook example of retail failure.....high prices, poor service, and limited inventory.

Goodbye JC Higgins
 
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PCHiggin

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 22, 2008
3,900
Ryderwood, United States
Same story with our local Sears, except its still open,for today anyway.
 

cyclingday

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Feb 24, 2008
7,261
Costa Mesa, California. United States
Yep!
That last Sears in Chicago went down too.
That's pretty sad.
We've still got our local store here in Costa Mesa, California.
But, I got a feeling, it's days are numbered.
image.jpeg
The end of an era for sure.
 
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Jay81

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Apr 26, 2015
3,891
38
Roseville MI
Yeah, so much for the lifetime warranty on all the craftsman hand tools I've bought over the years. Used to be able to bring in a broken tool and they would exchange it, no questions asked and no receipt necessary. I guess the "lifetime" part of the warranty was for Sears lifetime, not mine or the tool's.
At least I don't break them very often.
 

rhenning

I live for the CABE
May 9, 2010
1,410
71
Sharon wi United States
Craftsman Tools are still being sold in farm stores and hardware stores near me. ACE is one such hardware store and they just replaced Craftsman Tool for me. Don't throw your tools away because the Warranty is still good on them. Roger
 

Saving Tempest

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
Feb 6, 2012
4,991
53
Earth (Middle)
Yeah, so much for the lifetime warranty on all the craftsman hand tools I've bought over the years. Used to be able to bring in a broken tool and they would exchange it, no questions asked and no receipt necessary. I guess the "lifetime" part of the warranty was for Sears lifetime, not mine or the tool's.
At least I don't break them very often.
We still hear this about those Radio Shack Lifetime tubes on audio groups...
 

bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,839
Bulverde, TX
Death of a store counts as end of a lifetime, and then, everything that used to be junk gains collector's value.
When we were kids, JC Higgins, Ted Williams, Sears (Hawthorne, etc.) weren't badges of honor - they were pock marks of having parsimonious parents.

How many of your google searches turned up a Sears bot with a higher price than reality - the cancer and the cause as one - I for one would rather that bot die a noble death.

On the fly fishing boards, Gander Mountain is the latest cadaver, but they forgot how they lamented death of their local fly shop when Gander Mountain arrived 15 years ago.
My Uncle ran a Sears automotive center - my cousin had the coolest cars.
 
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the tinker

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
May 4, 2014
2,733
Planet Mongo
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I sold the above house that I lived in for over 20 years, this winter. It was a Sears Roebuck Catalog home, ordered from their catalog and built in 1926. The only original material that did not come from Sears was the concrete, mortar and bricks. Everything else , from the plaster, trim and every last board was shipped from the Sears plant in Ohio.
Every board was pre-cut, ready for the homeowner to assemble, once delivered by rail , to their lot.
There was a rail yard directly behind my house , now gone. My neighbor has lived there since 1952 and knew the original owner, who was a builder. There are several other Sears homes on our street. His plan was to build an entire subdivision of different style Sears homes, but went under during the depression. His only legacy was they named our street after him.
This house has undergone many changes through the years. I built the the front porch and canopy over the door back about 15 years ago, the original canopy sadly, was torn off. The original porch replaced by a concrete monstrosity. Someone else added a second floor addition over the dining room on the right side.
Interestingly, so many owners of Sears homes defaulted on their loans during the depression, that Sears was the largest holder of mortgages in the country. Rather than foreclose on their customers, that bought everything from Sears, they simply voided all of the mortgages! What business would do that today? That proved to be a very shrewd move by Sears, that gained them loyal customers for life. Just before I moved I sold my favorite Sears bike, this one, under the Ranger.
005.JPG
 
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bulldog1935

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jan 21, 2013
3,839
Bulverde, TX
... What business would do that today? ...
005.JPG
not even Sears

Since the Civil War, the paper catalog tied the country together, and Sears was the best at it.
Now the internet does, and Sears' approaches trying to survive it have been creepy, at best.
Plus, the value of their real estate is eating a hole in their pocket.
 
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MarkKBike

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Apr 17, 2017
904
Chicago Suburbs
To bad, As a 16 year old child I worked the floor at the local Sears Hardware store. It was a fun job at the time, and I was able to use my employee discount to buy many of the hand and pneumatic tools I still use today.

If the other salesmen in these stores were like me, they were not knowledgeable employees, and just making minimum wage.

One day I remember one older guy was trying to fix his toilet, and asked me if he had the right parts. I responded "I don't know, I'm not a toilet mechanic". I wasn't even trying to be a smasta$$, It just accidentally came off that way. The guy told me off, swore at me and complained to my manager. You can't hire kids, pay them minimum wage and expect them to be experts in hardware they have no experience with. Just about all my co-workers were also high school aged kids.

That store also recently closed, It had a good 30 year run. I did learn a lot there about repairing things that came to be helpful later in life.

People always abused the return policy. At the time it was "No Questions asked", There were guys who would come in every week with loads of tools to return, and walk out with several new tools at a time. The dumpsters in the rear of the store would have to be locked, or people would pick through them and return the tossed tools. There were people who made a living just finding trashed tools and returning them. I think guys would find old tools, break them on purpose, and return them for new ones to sell.

With the growing number of people who lack ethics, stores will have a hard time staying in business with return policy's like Sears had. It just can not be done anymore. It started out as a good idea, and ended up as one I'm sure they regret.

Then later on after college, I went to work at there national headquarters, that was a great job. I spent a lot of time with that company, and even once knew Bob Villa, as I was one of the guys who would provide him computer support when he came into the office.
 
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StoneWoods

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jan 7, 2015
474
Schofield, United States
My only real memories of Sears were getting my pictures taken there from birth till say 2004- 2005. Then I started elementary school. Oh, and going through a 1905 sears catalog with grandpa. Lol
 

New Mexico Brant

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Jul 6, 2016
2,553
50
Santa Fe, New Mexico
www.BrantMackley.com
I didn't think this store (York, PA) would last the new year. Sadly I was correct. It's closing was announced today.
Morton, I have memories of going to the Mailman's, Hills Department store, and the Best store as a kid in York, Pennsylvania. I remember my dad discussing a buying a tv with Mr. Mailman. I still occasionally go to the K-Mart in Hummelstown/Hershey and it is like entering the land of the zombie apocalypse (if it lasts two more years I would be shocked). It is wild to think that Sears once sold over 25% of the bicycles per annum in the US. I wonder how much of the US bicycle marketshare Walmart has today? Thank you for your post, it brought back me many memories for me.
 

morton

I live for the CABE
Nov 9, 2007
1,638
York, United States
Morton, I have memories of going to the Mailman's, Hills Department store, and the Best store as a kid in York, Pennsylvania. I remember my dad discussing a buying a tv with Mr. Mailman. I still occasionally go to the K-Mart in Hummelstown/Hershey and it is like entering the land of the zombie apocalypse (if it lasts two more years I would be shocked). It is wild to think that Sears once sold over 25% of the bicycles per annum in the US. I wonder how much of the US bicycle marketshare Walmart has today? Thank you for your post, it brought back me many memories for me.
Hey Brant, I used to work at Mailmans, another fallen flag! The Bon Ton took over the store many years ago, and just last week they announced they are going out of business this summer. The York KMart closed last summer too. Penny's about 3 years ago and Montgomery Wards, Grants, and Hills are long gone. Come to think of it, the only place in York County I can buy a pair of jeans other than chinamart (ugh) is Boscovs or Tractor Supply. Bummer!
 
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