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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