Dave Henderson

The decline of Sears

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One of the things that lead me away from Sears was a type of bait and switch that they had with appliances. I bought many Kenmore items over the years for durability and service. The last time I need an item I went to Sears after getting prices elsewhere and got a lower price from them. but then they added delivery, mandatory set up fee and a couple of other charges that I can't remember what they were. By the time they were done they were more than the next two shops I had priced and so I went with one that(Locally owned) offered free delivery and set up.

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I was at Lowes yesterday and they are now the home for Craftsmen. Seeing Sears went belly up I am told Lowes bought the Craftsmen label up here.

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33 minutes ago, Joe in Canada said:

I was at Lowes yesterday and they are now the home for Craftsmen. Seeing Sears went belly up I am told Lowes bought the Craftsmen label up here.

 

They are promoting it down here too, just noticed in the last month or so.  Makes me wonder what they will do with their Kobalt brand that they presumably invented to compete with Craftsman, Todd C

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I REALLY like the analogy comparing the Sears catalog and its initial affect on local stores as it relates the today's Amazon-ish marketplace.

 

Cycles, and you can't even count on the linearity of the circle in the diagram.

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3 hours ago, poci1957 said:

 

They are promoting it down here too, just noticed in the last month or so.  Makes me wonder what they will do with their Kobalt brand that they presumably invented to compete with Craftsman, Todd C

 

Craftsman was sold to Stanley/Black & Decker not Lowes. My guess is that Lowes will keep their Kolbalt brand. If they don't increase the shelf space for tools they would need to reduce or drop some other brand (Makita, Milwaukee, Black & Decker, etc.).

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In the boonies, or out in the sticks small town , Sears, Wards and J C Penny's had little two room shops where you could order and pick up any thing from their catalog.

It took a bit than less 2 weeks to get an order but it was better than driving in bad weather for an hour or more to the city.  By the late 70s these little outlets slowly faded away.

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15 hours ago, ply33 said:

Craftsman was sold to Stanley/Black & Decker not Lowes. My guess is that Lowes will keep their Kolbalt brand. If they don't increase the shelf space for tools they would need to reduce or drop some other brand (Makita, Milwaukee, Black & Decker, etc.).

 

I know Lowes does not own Craftsman and that is why I was a little surprised (but not unhappy) to see them in the stores alongside the Kobalt brand that they presumably do own.  I assume this means Lowes must (correctly) also think Craftsman is the stronger brand. 

 

I have a few small Kobalt items but no hand tools, anyone here have an opinion on them compared to Craftsman or other popular lines?     

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1 hour ago, oily rag said:

In the boonies, or out in the sticks small town , Sears, Wards and J C Penny's had little two room shops where you could order and pick up any thing from their catalog.

It took a bit than less 2 weeks to get an order but it was better than driving in bad weather for an hour or more to the city.  By the late 70s these little outlets slowly faded away.

There is still a small catalog store in the small town where I live.  Have not been in there for a while.

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Craftsman has arrived at Lowe's in NE TN. Big 2 page ad in the paper and lots of signage in the store. Didn't really look, I was in for other things.

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I noticed what appeared to be a brand new Sears catalog store outside Winchester, VA a few months ago if memory serves.

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We reecntly moved to a small town about 85 miles north, northeast of Las Vegas. I noticed this week that our Ace Hardware was carrying Craftsman tool boxes.

 

Kevin

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On 6/13/2018 at 6:55 PM, ply33 said:

 

Craftsman was sold to Stanley/Black & Decker not Lowes. My guess is that Lowes will keep their Kolbalt brand. If they don't increase the shelf space for tools they would need to reduce or drop some other brand (Makita, Milwaukee, Black & Decker, etc.).

 

If my visit today to my local Lowes in any indication you are 110% correct. My Lowes (BIG size store) had a few Craftsman tool chests, tool boxes and a very few assorted tool sets. Totally disappointed with their selection. I noticed that the tool sets had an 800 Number to call regarding the warranty. Since this Lowes does not sell individual tools AT ALL there is no way they could process any warranty requests even if they wanted to. BTW, the location of all the Craftsman items in my Lowes were in locations where items do not stay permanently (ie endcaps and isles where items tend to just disappear after a period of time). Also, this Lowes still has their normal, very large selection of Kolbalt brand tools so I doubt Kobalt is going anywhere, anytime soon at least in this store.

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Sears was a place i could get a 32mm socket and a 36mm socket. These are used for crankshaft pulley nuts.  And 22mm socket and wrench, which happens to be the same as 7/8 inch so you don't really need 22mm if you already have 7/8. And a 17mm and 14mm allen wrenches for transmission drain plugs. And you could buy a 15mm wrench if you somehow lost the one from your "set." A wide selection of individual tools, so it you need something including something out of the ordinary you could get it. Now Lowes just wants to sell the small sets, sockets and wrenches 8mm-17mm and that's it.

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17 minutes ago, pontiacfarmer said:

who is selling craftsman now then ??? Ive bought a lot of craftsman tools over the years ....

 

My local pawn shop has a ton of craftsman. $1 each or less. 5 wrenches or sockets for $3. Build yourself a complete set by searching through the bin and organizing.

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I just bought a set of wrenches for $20.45, 50% off. I'll see if they say made in USA when I pick them up.

Craftsman 11-piece Metric Combination Wrench Set The set includes 11 wrenches in 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18 and 19mm.

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2 hours ago, mike6024 said:

Sears was a place i could get.........A wide selection of individual tools, so it you need something including something out of the ordinary you could get it. Now Lowes just wants to sell the small sets, sockets and wrenches 8mm-17mm and that's it.

 

That seems to be true here too.  ACE Hardware still has the individual pieces, at least the one near me, Todd C

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6 hours ago, pontiacfarmer said:

who is selling craftsman now then ??? Ive bought a lot of craftsman tools over the years ....

 

When I lived near an Orchard Supply Hardware (regional California chain originally based out of San Jose) they carried Craftsman. I think a legacy of the few years they were owned by Sears before becoming independent (again) and then being bought by Lowes maybe 3 or 4 years ago. However I don't live near one now so I can't say if they still carry the brand in all stores but from their website its look like they do.

 

The nearest hardware store to me is a local chain affiliated with True Value. While I can buy individual sockets, etc. there, I haven't seen them carry Craftsman.

 

I'll have to stop by my local Lowes to see if they are carrying Craftsman now. They weren't last time I was in there.

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11Firescene3-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale

 

I was in Sears just now and a lady was exchanging "fire wrenches." They are giving replacement wrenches for all those scavenged from the burned properties. Not surprising they are on the road to bankruptcy. I wonder if you took those to Lowes would they exchange them? Probably so?

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I have a lot of SK stuff, There is a tool store about an hour from me that used to service my SK stuff.

Now they hand me a little slip with SKs address and tell me to send the offending tool in.

It works, but kind of slow.

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19 hours ago, mike6024 said:

11Firescene3-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale

 

I was in Sears just now and a lady was exchanging "fire wrenches." They are giving replacement wrenches for all those scavenged from the burned properties. Not surprising they are on the road to bankruptcy. I wonder if you took those to Lowes would they exchange them? Probably so?

 If I were unfortunate to own one of those homes exchanging wrenches would be one of my furthest priorities. I can't imagine a lot of people doing that

Edited by John348 (see edit history)

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On 6/20/2018 at 3:30 PM, John348 said:

 If I were unfortunate to own one of those homes exchanging wrenches would be one of my furthest priorities. I can't imagine a lot of people doing that

 

Scavengers and looters rather than property owners, I'm sure.

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 In 1969, the year I graduated from High School, Sears was the largest retailer in the world with approximately 350,000 employees.

Add to that the number of jobs Sears sustained in filling its needs..........probably approaching double that or more.

At the current value of Sears stock, $2.31, it seems the stockholders have already resigned themselves to the inevitable conclusion.

Top management (or mismanagement) won't suffer from this but when do they ever?....... :( 

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