The Death Watch For Another Brick and Mortar Establishment…

About this time last century quickly finding the horse and buggy business evaporating.  They had been left behind when the automobile was invented a couple of decades before.  At about the same time a startup called Sears Roebuck and Company was taking business away from many local mom and pop stores. Is Sears and their similar competitors facing extinction here in the beginnings of the 21st century?

I admit that I am one of those who buys the majority of my non-food purchases through on-line retailers. Amazon boxes frequently show up one my front porch after their two day journey from their Amazon warehouses.  I think I saw somewhere that this Christmas season more people will be buying on-line than in brick and mortar stores.

Now I admit that, except maybe for my electronic gadgets I am not much of a shopper either on-line of off but I definitely do see the convenience of just turning on my computer to make purchases instead of getting into my car for a one plus hour round trip drive to a local establishment.  I realize that retail sales jobs are one of the few still available to those who don’t bother to continue their education beyond their high school years.  What will happen when even those jobs disappear?  I hear that now many national fast food places are also toying with the idea of doing away with the counter jobs at their restaurants. Will there be anyplace left for high schoolers to find ANY employment?  I’m sure these trends had a lot to do with why we are where we are in the political mess we are for the coming four years.

Getting back to the topic at hand, Sears much like their now extinct cousins will likely go by the wayside because of failure to adapt to the new paradigm in retail purchases. It was interesting that the article above mentioned that their CEO is an Ayn Rand devotee.  But that is another story….

7 thoughts on “The Death Watch For Another Brick and Mortar Establishment…

  • Yup, my Sears store closed in November. I actually felt a real pang of sorrow. For many years it had been the go to place for appliances, tools, mens clothing, and much more. But, they just couldn’t find the right format for the times. The last few years it was like a ghost store with very few shoppers there when I went in. Now, the nearest Sears store is the Mall of America and I’m not fond of that place. In fact I’m surprised that one hasn’t closed since the MOA is heavily shopped with tourists and they don’t really flock to Sears do they? Anyway, times they are a changing, right?

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  • It’s sad for me personally. My dad worked there 25 years starting in the early 1950’s. All of our school clothes were bought there with his employee discount, which he continued to use long after he retired (they eliminated the discount sometime in the late 1990’s). He sold shoes and later TV’s, yet was still offered company stock which he hung on till the late 70’s when he smartly sold it before the company began to go downhill. It used to be fun going there.

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    • Thanks “snake..” for adding to the discussion. Yeah, Sears was one of the foundations when I was growing up too. I didn’t know anyone who worked there but I’m sure there were many.

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  • I had forgotten how many people worked there for many many years, my stop mother included. She worked in the catalog department, packaging items for shipment. She too was there for over 25 years….she retired with “profit sharing” which I think was a lump sum instead of a pension. She couldn’t have made much but she raised her 4 children (not me) by herself until marrying my Dad later in life. Sears was the gold standard for employers way back when. So sad it’s all gone.

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  • Hi Jane, my Sears store closed in June. The nearest one now is appliance only and its 40 miles away. So, Sears is pretty much out of my purchasing options now. Up until this last round we have alway bought Kenmore appliances and I only have gotten Craftsman lawn tractors as the parts are readily available when repairs are needed. I don’t know what I will do if they are gone entirely.

    I will miss Sears but like you say they just can’t seem to cope with he current market.

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  • An interesting side note to this, if I’m not mistaken, is that Sears’ growth was largely due to its success as a mail order business. Remember the voluminous Sears catalog? I think it was a shopping staple for rural America in the late 19th and early 20th century. They became a mall-centered business in the late 20th century and, as noted elsewhere, were never able to transition to a 21st century business model.

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