First the Florence, Alabama K-Mart is closing then when up the mall I noticed that Sears Roebuck was obviously dark/closed. The sign on the door announcing the new hours of operation. Here the mall is open till around 9:00 PM and Sears is closed at 6:00PM? (5:30PM on Sunday).
The last time I was in the store it looked as if they were reducing inventory having parts of the store, such as electronics, TV's etc, noticeably bare. May first thought then was that Sears was on their way out as well as K-Mart. Speaking to one of the employees did little to reassure me that I was not accurate in my assessment either.
Next my thoughts ran to the names that used to mean something special, names such as Kenmore and Craftsman. Craftsman tools with, for most, a lifetime warranty/guarantee but they didn't tell you whose lifetime it meant.
Sears, and K-Mart, needed/needs to make changes to began to be relative and competitive once again if that is even possible. Everyone (or most everyone) knew that the Kenmore brand on an appliance meant three,things. You could depend on the quality, you could depend on Sears standing behind it, and you could depend on it being built by Whirlpool or another quality manufacturer according to Sears high standards. Today you can count on none of those.
Just how bad of shape Sears is in remains to be seen but, the mall store, closing at 6:00 PM and having so sparse inventory as well as employees running around appearing as if they were applying for a part in the zombie Apocalypse or the Walking Dead. I was pessimistic when I heard that the person that purchased K-Mart was also buying out Sears and frankly I think we all have a right to be concerned. Sears was once very highly respected and could be counted on for high quality, dependable, products. It was a store where you could walk in and view, touch, and open the appliances you were interested in and you didn't just have to view it online or in a catalog.
I hope Sears isn't in the dire shape it appears to be in because I always liked Sears but you also have to do certain things to remain relevant and competitive in your market and remaining open while your competition and other surrounding stores I believe is one of them. I've since started considering Kobalt (Lowe's brand) tools when I make a purchase as I believe/feel that Lowe's is in a much better position than Sears/Craftsman is in. I hope Sears finds a way to pull out of this but one thing you can bet is no longer valid. Within the enclosed doors leading into the building stuck on the glass above the doors is the saying that made Sear's famous and a household name. "Satisfaction or Your Money Back". That along with quality tools and appliances and attractive stores made people enjoy shopping at Sears. Today Satisfaction is not guaranteed nor, do I believe, is Sears, as far as being there in the foreseeable future.