I tend to be a nostalgic person. I recall stories in my childhood told by my parents and grandparents about going downtown to the big department stores to shop at Christmas. Everyone’s stories always included a visit to the candy counter. I am not old enough to remember any of the downtown establishments they reminisce about except I remember Sears. I remember it because of one thing, the candy counter. The downtown location closed when I was still in elementary school and moved to the new local mall that opened. What a great place! The mall was “the” place to shop in my childhood. I have seen my local mall go from awesome to embarrassing. Sears is one of three anchor stores still in it. JCPenney, one of the three stores, announced this past week it was leaving my mall. I’m guessing Sears will not be far behind them.
Demise of Retail
I’ll be the first to admit I’m guilty of contributing to the demise of these retail establishments. I would much rather shop on-line now. With kids, work, and life in general, who has time to walk around and shop in one store at a time. The internet has made it so easy to see goods from many places, compare prices and most businesses offer perks like free shipping and free returns.
Sears announced this week that they continue to have financial troubles. They have closed stores, sold off assets like the Craftsman brand and even borrowed money from CEO Eddie Lampert to survive. It was an attempt to avoid filing a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and do a do-it-yourself restructuring. Sears for the first time also warned that it could go out of business. They are experiencing declining sales and tired stores and a pension plan that could jeopardize its future. I cannot help but immediately think that if a company is forced to sell one of its brands (the reason most or many even shop at the store), times must be hard and the end is near. I am not an expert in any of these areas. I’m just a little sad to see something from my childhood disappear.
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