I bought a chest freezer at Sears as couple of years ago. Other than that, I have not walked into a Sears store.
Millions of Americans share my shopping habit.
Tastes change. Opportunities change. Prices change. Sears is about to follow Montgomery Ward into oblivion. It is barely afloat in a sea of red ink.
When I think of Sears, I think of the Sears catalog. I don’t look at catalogs any more. Catalogs are as dead as the Yellow Pages. Catalogs are what we get in the mail. Remember the U.S. mail? It is also a thing of the past.
What unique selling proposition does Sears offer? “Your grandmother shopped here.”
Sears is as boring as Penney’s. I don’t shop there, either. I used to. I bought underwear once a decade. Maybe twice.
Sears used to be a major anchor store in America’s malls. Now malls are disappearing.
Hardly anyone under age 75 will miss Sears when it closes the last store next year. The brand is a fading memory of our youth . . . if we are old enough. I am.
This is what the free market does. It lets companies die a lingering death. Silly lenders who cannot forecast the future accurately lend it money. No one sheds a tear for them, either.
Customers can vote no in the free market. They do not walk in the door any more. They pull the plug. This is liberty.
Sears’ customers got old. It sold to matrons. The matrons are on Medicare today. Sears is going the way of its last remaining customers.
It was the store of the 1950’s. It shaped America for almost a century. Then it ceased to shape it. Then it grew feeble.
Sears made rural living somewhat more tolerable. But rural living died. The daughters who grew up in the little houses on the prairie still shopped there when they moved to the city. Their daughters and granddaughters still shopped there when they moved to the suburbs. But their great granddaughters switched to Target.
It was great while it lasted. It made the world a better place. But then the world moved on. Sears didn’t.
It still owns about 2% of U.S. retail space. That is worth a lot of money. It just isn’t worth what it was in 2007.
What do you do with an empty store as big as Sears? Penney’s isn’t buying.