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15 October 2018 @ 04:16 pm
When Sears was the good guys [Twitter]

ETA: When a company is destroyed by the vulture capitalists, as Sears now is, we should say it was romneyed
Sharon Kahndreamshark on October 16th, 2018 01:31 am (UTC)
Sorry, but Sears destroyed itself. My family shopped at Sears, including ordering from the catalog, so I had a lot of nostalgic fondness for the place. When I moved to Minneapolis in 1972 I lived near the old Art Deco Sears palace and I shopped there all the time.

I took my car to their Auto Center for service until the time they blatantly tried to rip me off (claiming to replace a part that clearly had not been touched). A couple years after that, there was a nationwide scandal involving systematic ripoffs at Sears Auto Centers, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't just a fluke. But by that time I had found better, more honest places to take my car.

I gradually stopped buying clothes and household goods at Sears because the merchandise was outdated, the store was musty-smelling, and the service kept deteriorating. They were still using the old department store model where you had to find a salesperson to check you out (no central registers) but there were fewer and fewer people actually working the floor.

When they finally closed the Sears Building in 1994 I hadn't shopped there in years. When I read something about the Sears bankruptcy today I was surprised to learn that they were even still in business.

Sears was innovative in their time, possibly even world-changing. In many ways they were the Amazon of their day, aggressively disrupting the standard retail model. I'm not sure that makes them "good guys," although clearly their innovative model of catalog merchandising had some very positive social effects. They may not have been Evil Capitalists, but they were still capitalists. And they lost their creative edge a long time ago, became irrelevant, and finally just plodded off into the sunset.