Last Sears store in Chicago closing it's doors!

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Relic61, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Sears is closing it's last Chicago store in the city that Sears has been most closely associated with & called home for 120 years.

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    https://www.usatoday.com/story/mone...losing-last-store-chicago-hometown/511829002/

    Once America's favorite retailer & original large mail order company, Sears continues to fail as sales fall off & business is lost to competitors like Best Buy & Amazon.

    How many of us used the Sears catalog to fuel our dreams of one day owning cool guitars & amplifiers?

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    Who remembers seeing the guitar amp in case for the first time & thinking they just had to have one?

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    Loud amplifiers for $149.oo !! C'mon Ma, please ..!!??
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    Or Drums?
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    Does Sears make it through this dark period? Can it re-emerge as the mail-order giant it once was & give Amazon some respectable competition? Or are we watching a once great & mighty dinosaur limp towards the tar-pit?
     
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  2. LDS

    LDS Member

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    This is what happens when a company gets too big for it's own good and forgets its roots.

    Sears was basically the Amazon of it's day, and I've been constantly amazed that they let other companies take over their niche simply because catalogs morphed into web sites...
     
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  3. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    Slightly off topic, but I love those old catalogues! I recently found someone had scanned the UK catalogue I bought my first guitar from - what a trip down memory lane to flick through those scans... I suspect Gibson and Fender might actually sell more of their reissue/reto/recreation models if they'd just emulate the look of those catalogues. Most of us would find the ads irresistible. :)

    More on topic - I've come to despise Amazon. I used to buy books and stuff from them, but for years now they've always come out the most expensive of the online book stores (in the UK BooksEtc are usually cheapest by far). So they're not even trying to beat their competitors at their own game, once they've got the market share. And I've found the same thing with stuff like computer peripherals. And worse still, Amazon pay their tax in Luxembourg. ****ers.
     
  4. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Amazon has been getting some bad press over here too. They've been making Billions while benefiting from tax breaks. Check this out!, " In 2017, Amazon reported $5.6 billion of U.S. profits and didn’t pay a dime of federal income taxes on it."

    Sorta says it all. A company that operates like that is easy to despise.

    No doubt about it. Heck, just going through some catalog pics that popped up on a quick search triggered some old memories & before I knew it I was going through Ebay listings looking at old Silvertone amps & guitars looking for a deal to pick up!

    Ya, dangerous stuff man.
     
  5. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Dead on with that assessment.

    Although Sears filled a market demand when they went into the retail store side of business, who would have ever thought that those stores would actually become a thing of the past & business would come full circle back to mail order sales!?

    I had read a couple years ago (probably more like 15 or so) that Sears actually made most of their money through their Sears Card sales & interest charges! And the stores were more like a way to pimp their products & get people using those high interest Sears Cards. I remember those cards were notoriously high interest rates usually running over 20% to 25%. Yikes!
     
  6. Chubbles

    Chubbles Active Member

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    I was about 7 when I first saw an electric guitar in a sears. Of course my mom wouldn't buy it for me. Damn it.
     
  7. Notabot

    Notabot Active Member

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    My
    My grandma bought me a Sears Best acoustic when I was 12. What a sweetheart...
     
  8. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    'That's what Grams are for!' I can hear it now being sung by Dion Warwick to the melody of 'That's What Friends Are For'.

    I wasn't fortunate to know any of my Grandparents but I certainly know the joy of seeing how excited & happy my oldest Grandchild is (He's 3 and the other 4 grandkids are still infants) when I bring him presents.
     
  9. Westernrider

    Westernrider Active Member

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    Sears had stores all over the country. They had an amazing inventory for the times. This company didn't have to die. Sears could have been huge in 2018 if they changed their ways.

    The huge catalog. The seasonal catalogs. The Christmas catalog! Still miss them.
     
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  10. cvansickle

    cvansickle New Member

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    My dad had an over 30 year career with Sears. He started in Chicago in the late 50s as a catalog copywriter, fresh out of the USMC. He soon became a buyer, and bought menswear, women's lingerie, work boots, among other lines, during his time. He was transferred from Chicago to Atlanta in 1967, and he was a territorial buyer for 10 years. His travels took him to many large factories as well as tiny local mills, and I was fortunate to accompany him on some of these trips during summer vacations. I learned about big city business and small town America too. My family was treated to some lovely resorts on a few of these trips, all through the generosity of an executive expense account. Eventually he was transferred back to HQ, and had a 39th floor office in the Sears Tower. He took an "early retirement" package in 1991, and by then the damage was done.

    Practically everything in our house came from Sears. All our home appliances, tools, yard gear and electronics bore the Sears name. I had two nice Sears bicycles growing up. My first guitar was from the Sears catalog. As a kid, I looked forward to every September when my dad would bring home the mighty Christmas Wish Book! (Dad still gets that 10% discount.)

    I realize the brand is way past its prime, the remaining stores are close to useless, and there's little to no hope for survival. But I'm still sad to see it go. Sears was a big part of the comfort and well-being of my family.
     
  11. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome family history ya got there. Too bad it has such a sad reality on the Sears side of it. Sounds like it was a wonderful life that Dad (& Sears) provided you & the fam.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  12. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Active Member

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    Sad yes Sears is doomed im afraid. My mom loved shopping there and taking her kids there. Shoot they had a luncheonette with chili cheese dogs and chocolate cokes.

    I wasnt smart enough to realize i needed to beg mom for a guitar. My bad ...
     
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  13. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    And isn't it ironic?.. That what was quite possibly one of the biggest contributors to Sears decent from the top, sales tax collection on internet sales, was ruled on by the Supreme Court & essentially leveling the sales tax playing field.




    Funny, but if not for that now determined wrongful tax policy, our business world with it's tax free internet sales Boom could have ended up shaping our consumer world quite differently! Certainly, companies like Amazon would not have benefited & grown to the extent we now see them enjoy.
    Hmmm...:hmm:
    A little to late & a long (20 years) time coming or what!?
     
  14. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    You make a good point, but the irony is not lost on me that you choose to illustrate irony with Alannis Morissette's song. Although it is called ironic, none of the situations it described was ironic.
     
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  15. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

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    You may be right..



    But being I don't know the words nor care to spend another 4 minutes listening to Alanis Morissette while contemplating and weighing the depth & true meaning of her lyrics I will simply take your word for it.

    I guess when it comes to expecting things like lyrical accuracy or real depth & meaning I've been left feeling pretty jaded..



    Since hearing the last 4 minutes of Hey Jude.



    And loving each minute
    :smile:
     
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  16. pedecamp

    pedecamp Active Member

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    I shop at Sears as much as possible to help support. I talked to somebody there and they said Sears is heading back to the old model of catalogue sales ala internet. Stores will be closing all over the country and the company will focus on internet sales and leave open only the most profitable stores.
     
  17. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    So here's why Sears lost my business: 25 years ago I had been a loyal Sears customer for years, had a credit card, almost all of my appliances and all of my power tools were purchased there. I had never been ill-treated until the week before Thanksgiving. My wife was recovering from serious illness and my stove went on the fritz. On Friday after work, I took my family to the Arden way Sears in Sacramento and wheeling my missus in an old Cook County Hospital wheelchair I had found and rebuilt, we looked at their stoves. We finally settled on a four burner with a large oven, got a salesman and made the deal. I paid in cash and got a receipt with an agreement to have my old stove in the driveway and the space for the new one ready to hookup on Tuesday morning. I made sure all was in readiness before leaving for work at 05:00. I was surprised to see the old stove still sitting in my driveway when I got home at 15:30. I called the Sears store and was told that the item had gone out on a truck and that they worked until all deliveries were done, so sit tight and fan it. I called again a couple of hours later and was told that there had been a clerical error and that the stove I had purchased was not actually available., They would have another one for me the following week. At this point, not wanting to be an asshat to the phone person, I decided to get down to the store before they closed and straighten the problem out. Surely they weren't going to leave me without a stove I had already paid for two days before Thanksgiving. that is exactly what they did. A Mr. John Boudreau informed me that they could not get a replacement for that model until the following Monday. I ask about another model to which he replied that there was no delivery slot , so I might as well wait until the following week. I mentioned that Thursday was Thanksgiving and I didn't really want to cook the meal on a campfire, so what could he do to help me. Nothing, not a thing. OK well I guess I'll need my money back. We can credit your account was the response, I don't have the time to gather up that much cash. Bells ring announced the store's closing so I called the cops. I stood there loudly telling everyone in earshot what they had done to me. A couple of people waiting to check out left their items and walked out. Boudreau now threatening to physically remove me, is somewhat stunned when two real cops come walking up. "This guy is causing a disturbance, can you get him out of here so I can close up?" "You are?" When they realized they weren't talking to the RP, they asked me who I was and I had the right answer. I showed them the receipt told the story and explained I just wanted my money in cash so I could go out the day before Thanksgiving and buy a stove. Now the cop was thinking the same way I had, asked Boudreau about floor models etc, got the same no can do attitude. "Well Mr. Boudreau, I suggest that you give the gentleman his cash, now, otherwise you might be guilty of defrauding him and you'd have to spend Thanksgiving in lockup." I got my money took the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off work buying, loading moving and installing a Magic Chef range. I wrote a letter to company headquarters and got a bs form letter and an advertisement for another stove. I have not been in a Sears store since and I try not to do business with any affiliates. The iconic company of yore shot itself in the foot and is finally dying from infection. Good riddance.
     

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