Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Say it ain't so !

(Sears candy counter)
I guess I am obsessed by age lately, but it is hard to find a store or chain of stores that has been around since my youth. But there is one. My memory is of the smell of hot cashews at the candy counter, as I accompanied my dad and mom into the magic store of Sears and Roebuck. I had only seen it thru the BIG catalog and from the postman bringing packages, including baby chicks (my favorite).

Before Malls, there was Sears.  Before there were Corvettes, there was Sears.  Before anyone ever thought of a  Mart (Wal or K) there was Sears.  Before anyone would give credit to the working stiffs besides the company stores, there was Sears. Before the internet ordering craze, there was the Sears catalogs. (Just after corn cobs, there was last year’s Sears and Roebuck Catalog, to read and use in the outhouse.)

My mind cannot wrap around the fact that a huge retailer, bathed in history, with its trucks, stores and lines of items such as DieHard, Craftsman and Kenmore, already on the line can be overtaken and beaten by an upstart.  The upstart  must buy trucks, setup suppliers, supply lines and stores etc. The thing that I see is complacency in leadership that refused to be forward looking.  It is a shame.

Retailers must think ahead or they die.  My brother was in the business of retail and I could never get over his thinking Christmas in June and July.

Giant businesses must try to read trends, and think years in advance.  This year's successes will not last. Once behind, catch-up is usually IMPOSSIBLE.

Do you remember  Woolworths, Grants, Roses, Barkers, Kress, Mazers, Hechts etc.?

I smile when I hear folks upset that Walmart is coming to a town, and they start saying how many local merchants will be put out of business, that is true. But if you will check that local merchant, if they were successful, it was probably on someone else's back. It is hard to believe any business will put Walmart out of business, it can happen if management doesn't stay on its toes.

I prefer Craftsman Tools. My first shotgun was a J.C. Higgins, my first NEW bike was a J.C. Higgins. I am about to lose something that has been around all my life, Sears  (From 1886!) seems to be going under, SAY IT AIN’T SO!

Nite Shipslog
*************   **Sears********   ****
 Was also in the Auto business for a few years early 1900's and 1950's.


betty said...

It would be interesting if Walmart was to go under, I dont see it happening, but I was surprised with other stores folding too. Its hard to iudge what customers could want and then deliver it at a good price.


Lisa said...

I remember Woolworth, Nichols, and Sears. There is still a Roses in Belmont. I hated to see sears go under. Sears sold everything from underwear to houses.

I hate going to Walmart but sometimes there is no choice.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

We here have had our Sears Hardware close up but I guess I hadn't heard that Sears was going under all together. Walmart has taken over here it seems. Our choices of where to shop seem less and less anymore.

Paula said...

Young people couldn't imagine life without malls. We would catch a ride to downtown San Antonio to walk up and down Houston street where the stores were. Eat at Kress or Woolworth. Ride the bus back to the southside to catch a ride home. It was our fun in those days.


I used to work for Hechts. And have fond memories of Sears too. Things change and time marches on. But these retailers are an important part of history.

Unknown said...

I shop at Walmart and Roses they have everything you need. The older
I get I realize I don't need things like I did in younger days. They say
I shop like I am on a mission from GOD. But shopping is fun if I don't buy anything I have fun visiting.

Mevely317 said...

I'm unfamiliar with some of those retailers you mention, but Sears? They (and Montgomery Wards) were legendary!

I will no longer patronize our Wal-Mart for several reasons -- but I chalk those up to poor management on a local level. Sad, but the 'best' of intentions can be toppled by the wrong people in the right place.

Rick Watson said...

I still have hand tools I bought from Sears in the late 60s.