Dave Henderson

The decline of Sears

Recommended Posts

(First I'd like to ask the moderator why my message on "General Discussion" forum requires me to choose either a "for sale" or "wanted" tag??)
Getting on to the topic, it is sad that Sears direction is in a downhill direction.  They no longer have the Dean Witter brokerage, Allstate insurance, the Craftsman brand, and now there is talk of letting the Kenmore brand go, along with numerous store closings.   What is more, this has impacted on how "guaranteed for Life" Craftsman tools are dealt with when one breaks and it is presented to them for an exchange.  My personal experience hasn't been good, and I am wondering how others of us have been treated.  Here's the responses I have received in several instances;  I took a 1/4 " ratchet in because it wouldn't catch.  This time I got a new one, but it was of a lesser quality.  Then it too broke.  I was then told they didn't exchange for new ones, but rather "refurbished" ones.  I waited while the clerk went off to install a"kit" in it.  After a loooong wait he came back and told me he couldn't fix it right then because the tool he needed was at his home. Translation;  you'll have to come back again!   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the ceo stripped the company and is selling everything off to his hedge funds gain.

 

Sears has been outta the loop for years. You cant chg 500-700. more for a lawn tractor made in china, then Lowes and HD does......... people arent that stupid.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too much emphasis placed on price and not enough on quality these days.  The Sears K-Mart merger killed both companies.  Sears is killing itself from within by selling off the only things that make money for them.  Retail today is a tough market with so much on line competition.  I like brick and mortar places that still care for their customers and offer service after the sale.  Sadly they are getting fewer in number.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Sears near our house used to be a two-story 'anchor' store at one end of a large shopping mall.  A few years ago, the upper floor was turned into a Primark clothing store.  The remaining single-story Sears has 'loosely packed' inventory spread over a large area to give the illusion of a well-stocked selling floor.  It's really a shame that the chain is going under slowly but surely.  They already had the infrastructure to succeed as an internet retailer (catalogs, shipping, etc) but they fumbled it.  Sears used to be a powerhouse retailer.  Those days are gone.   

 

Back in the 1970's, JC Penney came out with a car battery that had a lifetime warranty.  When they  got out of the automotive business, Penney's had to pay other retailers to honor whatever battery warranties were left.  Going forward, I suspect that retailers of Sears-derived brands like Craftsman will be required to honor the warranty of products bought at Sears.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a continuation of my above topic,my computer froze for an unknown reason.   Here's how another exchange attempt was (mis)handled.  I bought a Craftsman multi meter last November, and by April it was kaput.  I took it back with the receipt, but no dice.  The clerk said it just had a 1 month guarantee.  Being no good, I tossed it.  Yesterday while looking through my desk I found the owners manual that came with it, and lo and behold it said "One year full warranty on Craftsman manual ranging multimeter".  I went back and presented the receipt and manual to the clerk, and without looking she again said the guarantee was 1 month.  Then when I read her the 1 year guarantee from the manual, her next reaction was to say I would have to deal with the manufacturer.  WRONG AGAIN!  The manual said to return it to the nearest store and Sears would replace it.  Not to quit then, the clerk said I would have to bring it in, which of course I couldn't do because I'd chucked it since it was no good and they wouldn't exchange it.  Yes, it was my word, but under the circumstances I think my request for a new one should have been honored.   How have you been treated?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get a lot of my Craftsman stuff at my local ACE hardware store.  The family owners of the store have been in business for over 130 years.  Needless to say customer service there is excellent.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a problem with a company, don't work

your way up from clerk to senior clerk to local manager.

Instead, write directly to the head of the organization--

the President or Chief Executive Officer.  Even if he himself

doesn't see your letter, any directives will then come down

directly from his office and carry great weight within

the company.  I've done this twice when things weren't

being solved otherwise, and they were quickly resolved.

 

In the case of Craftsman tools, the C.E.O. to address

would probably be the one whose company is now

responsible for the warranty.  I've heard it said that a

letter carries more weight than an e-mail.  A good C.E.O.

will truly want to know what's happening, because he

wants to satisfy the customer, and because it might give

him a chance to correct a wider problem.  Don't let

poor service go uncorrected!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Dave Henderson said:

(First I'd like to ask the moderator why my message on "General Discussion" forum requires me to choose either a "for sale" or "wanted" tag??)
Getting on to the topic, it is sad that Sears direction is in a downhill direction.  They no longer have the Dean Witter brokerage, Allstate insurance, the Craftsman brand, and now there is talk of letting the Kenmore brand go, along with numerous store closings.   What is more, this has impacted on how "guaranteed for Life" Craftsman tools are dealt with when one breaks and it is presented to them for an exchange.  My personal experience hasn't been good, and I am wondering how others of us have been treated.  Here's the responses I have received in several instances;  I took a 1/4 " ratchet in because it wouldn't catch.  This time I got a new one, but it was of a lesser quality.  Then it too broke.  I was then told they didn't exchange for new ones, but rather "refurbished" ones.  I waited while the clerk went off to install a"kit" in it.  After a loooong wait he came back and told me he couldn't fix it right then because the tool he needed was at his home. Translation;  you'll have to come back again!   

 

There is no requirement to use a tag on a post. There are no pre-formatted tags set up other than those desired to assist in for sale or want to buy posts. There is no need to add a tag to any other type of post since the search function will easily search the text of a post. I edited your post to remove the unneeded tag for you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How have you been treated?

 

Went to Sears here in Syracuse the other day. Took in 4 sockets that I had "hammered" on to remove the locks from the wife's 2005 Honda. Pep boys forgot to give her back her lock key last fall.....

 

walked out with 4 new sockets. Will say the place looks horrible. nothing on the shelves and empty as can be of customers.

 

Went into Lowes the next day and see they are now carrying Sears rachet sets as the same price or less then Sears...........................

 

Kmart was in bankruptcy 20 years ago and came back........but it is inevitable, when someone else out there is better then you.

 

Is there an unfair trade advantage with Amazon? (another topic to ponder..................)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am hesitant to chime in since the entire discussion is really close to the line of violating the forum rules. I have very seldom done business with Sears in the past 3 decades due to several bad experiences. My own personal experience with Sears in the past year to attempt to exchange a defective craftsman tool (which was part of a set that I received as a gift at my AACA Chapter Christmas party), was not productive. After I was not successful at the local store, I contacted Sears customer service via the Sears website to complain multiple times. I never got any response from their customer service center in any manner. I still need to take that item back to my local Ace hardware store to get it exchanged. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matt,

what forum rules are being violated? Please explain...................

 

tools are a BIG part of auto restoration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did not say that rules were being violated. I said that discussion is "really close to the line of violating the forum rules". The AACA discussion forum have always prohibited negative comments about vendors. You have no idea how many times the AACA has been threatened with civil suits or how many times that suits have actually been filed aginste the club for negative comments about companies on the discussion forum. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sears has been going down hill for years. I'm surprised they are still in business, it seems like they almost aren't. The local Sears mall store was replaced by a Hart clothing store last year, I don't know if they are somehow related.

 

They had a golden opportunity to be the big online retailer, they already had the mail order warehouses set up, all they needed was an online catalog but they missed their chance.

 

I don't expect them to  be around in 2 or 3 years. I doubt anyone under 50 will notice they are gone.

 

Their stock was $195 a share in 2007, now it is $2.15.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have some Penny's Penncraft "guaranteed for life" tools. Last time one broke they told me to take it to Sears...
 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

We don't have any problem with Sears anymore up here in Canada..  They are gone like the Dodo bird.  I suspect the next casualty will be Hudson's Bay.  No one trains clerks anymore and won't pay a living wage to those who were trained.  We (you and I) deserve what we are getting because we did not complain (as post #7 suggested) properly and we (you and I) did not support our long time department stores.  We, many of us, bought cheap and now that is what we have.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

20 years ago I had the worst consumer experience of my entire life with Sears and an air-conditioning system for my house.  I have not bought a single item from them since.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, mercer09 said:

How have you been treated?

 

Went to Sears here in Syracuse the other day. Took in 4 sockets that I had "hammered" on to remove the locks from the wife's 2005 Honda. Pep boys forgot to give her back her lock key last fall.....

 

walked out with 4 new sockets. Will say the place looks horrible. nothing on the shelves and empty as can be of customers.

 

 

 

So you helped them out by defrauding them.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read that the big Sears Grand Store in Gurnee, Il is to be closed this year. Built to reboot Sears along with several others the only times that i was in there you could have bowled a cannonball done the aisles and never hit anyone. Sad but I have to say not unexpected. I haven't had any troubles with Sears but as with many I no longer really buy anything from them. Although I will say I inherited several Craftsman tools from my wife's late Uncle and when I took them to the Kenosha, Wi. store I had no issues getting new replacements. Over $200.00 by the time retail prices were added up. This was in 2014 and the quality seemed up to the level of the ones turned in.

Edited by plymouthcranbrook (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sears was bought by Kmart in 2004. Kmart chose to let the Sears name continue in use. They could just as easily been all renamed Kmart. I have bought lots, most of my clothes at Kmart. Sears has the same things, like Dickies pants, only at a higher price. I have continued to buy tools at Sears. Like a 17mm Allen wrench. Also sockets like 22mm and 36mm. A broader selection and you can buy individual pieces, not just sets. They also have 3/4 inch ratches and sockets not just 3/8 and 1/2 inch. You don't find that everywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sears bought Kmart big mistake. Sears is old and stogy and never kept with the times. 

  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good riddance Sears... they wouldn't exchange a mis- packaged band saw blade a few months ago. I was a customer for over 50 years.

I threw the blade package at the sales counter as I walked out the door in frustration... this after after trying/asking begging to get the correct size blade... no dice ... it landed on the counter...the clerk didn't flinch.

I've never been back. The huge store is now gone after being there for over 50 years. It's being chopped up into little outlet stores that will come and go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sears problems started long before the merger with Kmart.  When the  sold off Discover card, Allstate insurance, their mortgage division (now PNC mortgage) and Dean Witter (now part of Morgan Stanley) was the beginning of the end.  The management thought it would be great to sell the money makers and concentrate on the loosing side of business.  What not to do will be part of business school text books for years to come.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 1920s catalog of sears kit homes, all precut with every fastener and parts to complete. Just think you could have ordered your home online, well maybe with a stamp, 3cents. Bean counters know what they know but without much imagination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, JFranklin said:

I have a 1920s catalog of sears kit homes, all precut with every fastener and parts to complete. Just think you could have ordered your home online, well maybe with a stamp, 3cents. Bean counters know what they know but without much imagination.

 

I too have old catalogs from Sears.  I still delight in looking at a 1943 fall/winter one, loaded with Model A parts, such as rebuilt short blocks @ $35 and trannys $15 or so.  The '20's house catalog is a hoot too, as are the Christmas Wish Books.  That is all the enjoyment Sears affords me now. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now