Lion of the Blogosphere

Sears, Kmart bankruptcy

Who shops at Sears? I think it’s brand name that resonates with people over the age of 60, which is a declining market.

And who shops at Kmart instead of Walmart or Target? No one I can think of. Except that there’s a ratty gross Kmart at Penn Station that I buy stuff at from time-to-time because it’s there. Anything they sell at Duane Reade you can get at the Kmart at Penn Station for less money. Unfortunately, I guess this means it won’t be there for much longer.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 15, 2018 at EST am

Posted in Business

129 Responses

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  1. I needed a new dryer hose last week so went to Sears and they had one. $15. It was the first time I had been inside Sears for probably five years. I looked at their clothes and such, but decided I didn’t need anything there. There was a Primark in the mall that had clothing for probably 1/3 of the price.

    GMR

    October 15, 2018 at EST am

  2. OT, cute, white possibly Jewish MTA bus driver exposes himself,

    https://nypost.com/2018/10/14/mta-employee-accused-of-exposing-himself-to-girls/

    What’s weird about this? A white, Jewish bus driver!

    For those of you not from New York, MTA means Metropolitan Transit Authority

    gothamette

    October 15, 2018 at EST am

    • My uncle’s ex-wife’s brother-in-law was a long-time MTA bus driver. He is very Jewish and very prole.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 15, 2018 at EST am

      • Lion, what percentage of Ashkenazi Jews would you estimate are prole/working class in the United States today?

        Oswald Spengler

        October 15, 2018 at EST am

      • More than you think.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • There are a few of us. BTW I had to sit down & figure out “uncle’s ex-wife’s brother in law.”

        gothamette

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • My uncle had a first wife, she left him after he got fired from his job. The first wife had a sister. The sister has a husband. The husband was a bus driver for the MTA. He is very prole. They live in Queens.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • My great Uncle Ralph was a Jewish city bus driver. Very very prole and he was originally from NY (with an over the top accent). A lot of people have the misconception that all Jews are wealthy professionals. Jewish proles definitely exist.

        Jay Fink

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • My bus-driver semi-relative also has a low-class accent.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • I love the way Lion is always trying to prove how normal the Jewish bell curve is.

        gothamette

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • “Lion, what percentage of Ashkenazi Jews would you estimate are prole/working class in the United States today?”

        Very small.

        gothamette

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • According to the General Social Survey for years 2010-2016, 56% of Jews have college degrees, which means that 44% of Jews are prole. For the population as a whole (which includes NAMs) 28% have college degrees, which means that the other 72% are prole.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • “A lot of people have the misconception that all Jews are wealthy professionals.”

        This came up in the 1983 Twilight Zone movie.

        MoreSigmasThanYou

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • Lion, what did you think of Woody Allen’s portrayal of mid-20th century prole Jewish culture in Cafe Society? I know lots of his early movies are kinda about prole Jews, but I thought Cafe Society was much more explicit about the proleness.

        Seth Largo (@SethLargo)

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • Haven’t seen it, i have to put it on my to-watch list.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • If you factor in orthodox (some segments of which outright discourage higher education) quite a few. If you factor out orthodox/ ultra orthodox, very very few.

        Most jews I’ve met on SI are middle management/ dentist types. But I haven’t met a lot of local orthodox. Those I have were visiting from brooklyn.

        toomanymice

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • “she left him after he got fired from his job.”

        That’s terrible.

        destructure

        October 16, 2018 at EST am

      • Well he had the last laugh. He’s still financially successful, and she didn’t accomplish anything after she left him.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 16, 2018 at EST am

      • ““she left him after he got fired from his job.”

        That’s terrible.”

        And way too common. Like pretty much default behavior for the female of our species.

        When I was with a girlfriend who I thought was “the one”, and then I went through a period of unemployment without her caring, I asked her to marry me right after it was over. Not turning on me while I was unemployed was the final test.

        MoreSigmasThanYou

        October 16, 2018 at EST am

      • “Well he had the last laugh. He’s still financially successful, and she didn’t accomplish anything after she left him.”

        Some people are obsessed with killing the golden goose. The Lion doesn’t like it when I go too far with negative personal stories. Here’s a story synopsis:

        There once was a woman who was asking me for advice on how to sell out her brother to his business partners. My advice was: You can’t really profit from doing that, because he’s trying to help you out and they’re not. Even if you still want to do it, there’s nothing to sell out. The business hasn’t even made any money yet.

        A lot of women aren’t really looking out for their own best interests. They’re possessed by a sick desire to make power plays. It’s a like men who are constantly losing bar fights over other bar patrons disrespecting them. The men are more obviously pathological, and worse at justifying their own behavior. Both groups are self-defeating, and, frankly, sick.

        MoreSigmasThanYou

        October 16, 2018 at EST am

      • No one has the last laugh in a divorce. But she did him a favor by leaving. I can’t imagine being in a marriage where someone would leave the other over something like that. It’s common enough that there’s a word for it — Briffault’s law. But it’s still terrible. Not everyone is like that.

        destructure

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • I am not privy to anything that went on in their marriage, I only know the timing.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • “My great Uncle Ralph was a Jewish city bus driver. ”

        Was his last name Kramden?

        gothamette

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • According to 23andme I am 0.1% Ashkenazi (and 99.9% European). This is really what 23andme says–not joking.

        Does this give me cred to discuss Jewish stuff on this forum?

        It should, according to Elizabeth Warren.

        https://imgur.com/a/HcwNfs0

        Rosenmops

        October 17, 2018 at EST am

    • Looks like a classic underachiever who is going insane from being in work below his potential.

      Hire that man!

      fakeemail

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • He is cute! Goes to show mating success is not based solely on looks.

      I used to live near an MTA bus depot. A good portion (maybe a third?) of the drivers were overweight white guys. Young black prostitutes often hung around the depot when shifts changed, but I no longer see that.

      toomanymice

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • When I saw your comment, I assumed he was in his 70s or 80s, as it’s mostly much older Jews from that generation that did those kind of prole jobs still. But it turns out he’s a young guy. It’s very unlikely for a young Jewish guy to be driving a bus in NYC in this day and age. Even if he’s an underachiever or really dumb, a young Jewish guy is going to be doing something else or moving to some small college town to be a pothead and slacker or something. I think even recent Russian Jewish immigrants to NYC do other kinds of jobs. And “Wohlfahrt” doesn’t sound like a typical German Jewish name. I think this guy might be a goy who moved to NYC from the Midwest and had to take whatever job he could get.

      Tom

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • I know many younger Jewish people who skipped college. They be proles.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • Or a local gentile with the German name. There are still a few. I was just joking about him being a Jew – but he is a “himbo”! (Look it up.)

        gothamette

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • Was Rupert Pupkin from The King of Comedy supposed to be an Jewish prole?

        Curle

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • I used to work in the Queens Borough Public Library system. A number of the clerical lifers were NY Jewish proles. Think Harvey Pekar.

      Petronella

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • Right – but Jewish proles tend to gravitate to clerical work, not physical labor.

        gothamette

        October 16, 2018 at EST am

      • Gothamette, I currently have a prole job after 30 years in a non-prole profession. It is fun for me and I plan on staying until I retire. The place I work at has a mix of physical and non (or low) physical jobs and I definitely do something non-physical…but not sedentary…I walk and move a lot each day which is good for my health.

        I admire the guys and girls who do the physical labor because I could never do it even if it was the only job available. Not sure if being Jewish has anything to do with it (it probably does influence my aptitude) but I am not a strong, physical guy who could do that work. Plus I’m probably too old…although even when I was younger I wouldn’t have wanted to do it.

        Jay Fink

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • My grandfather drove a milk delivery truck, and it was hard physical labor he had to remove the milk cartons from the truck.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • @Jay – would you mind telling us what you do?

        @Lion – Very few Jews under age 60 do physical labor. Even stupid Jews tend to do paper-pushing jobs.

        gothamette

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • My grandfather would be 110 if he were still alive.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

  3. I think it is just the dated brand. The few times I’ve been in Sears in recent years it seemed every bit as nice as other department stores I go to. Many fewer people though. Weird.

    Steverino@Steverino.com

    October 15, 2018 at EST am

    • I agree; it doesn’t seem like Sears had anything majorly “wrong” with it other than losing brand cachet. They may very well have been able to save themselves by just changing their name and logo to something SWPLish.

      Hermes

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • Losing your brand is doing something wrong.

        PerezHBD

        October 16, 2018 at EST am

    • Their women’s clothes are lame.

      Their appliances and tools were good draws but now you can get appliances at Best Buy, tools at Harbor Freight (though not as good).

      We bought a couple riding mowers there too…but now there’s Home Depot, Lowe’s…

      Mrs Stitch

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

  4. Kmart evolved from the old Kresge dime store chain. I haven’t been in a Kmart in years. The one in our town closed years ago. It was dark, dirty and dumpy – not missed when it finally went belly up. All of the competitors (WalMart, Target, Meijer’s, etc.) are better.

    My last experience with Sears was just a few months ago. Our big kitchen refrigertaor we bought there almost seven years ago stopped working. It took Sears almost two weeks to get a service guy out, and another two weeks to obtain the broken part (the compressor). However, it turned out that were just within the extended warranty we purchased with the appliance, so we got a $700 repair for free.

    I used to shop at Sears once in a while, but they’ve been closing all the stores in our area, and I don’t miss them.

    BTW, I’ve been in train stations all over the world, and Penn Station is the worst big city station I’ve ever seen. What a dump! I hear they planning to replace it. Good luck!

    Black Death

    October 15, 2018 at EST am

    • The new train station is under construction, but a block west, it will be more inconvenient for must commuters.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • The original Penn Station was gorgeous but it was torn down before the historic preservation vogue. In fact, the destruction of Penn Station led to that.

        About Sears, in the immediate post-war era they were a place a newly prosperous person could shop and buy quality merchandise, and not just appliances that didn’t break down. You could buy good wool suits for $12.50, etc. Their old catalogues have a retro value.

        gothamette

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • ” in the immediate post-war era”

        Only people older than 70 would remember that. What has Sears done for younger customers?

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • You don’t have to remember it to know about it, Lion. I don’t remember it, I know about it. Geesh.

        Getcher sharskin suit for $37.95!

        gothamette

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • I wore a sharkskin suit to my first job interview. Love sharkskin!

        Yakov

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • “I wore a sharkskin suit to my first job interview. Love sharkskin!”

        But did you pay $37.95 for it?

        These women are very thin, but probably not 5’10”:

        gothamette

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • No, I paid over $200 and that was in 1985. But I didn’t care, I loved the 3 piece suits that were in fashion on Wall Street at the time and I got the job without having a college degree. Was totally cool. Gonna get one soon again.

        Yakov

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

  5. Here’s something I’ve noticed about Wal-Mart: their self-checkout machines work better than those at big grocery chains like Safeway. Never any hang-ups, never any out-of-context electronic imprecations, never have to angle the item 4 positions to get it read. This efficiency is undoubtedly the result of the dearth of black technicians/managers at headquarters in NW Ark. Steve Sailer has written several anecdotes about how no-nonsense they are, from his days selling UPC software to them. In other words, what I’m saying is that despite the jokes about their trailer-park customers, the org. Is run according to older, pre-slob principles.

    Marty

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • I knew a sysadmin who used to work for Walmart. He was very very good at his job, especially at functioning under stress. Prior to going into computers, he had served in the Navy aboard the USS Los Angeles (SSN 688).

      If Sam Walton were alive today, he’d be a hundred years old. He’d be the worlds richest man, with 151 billion.

      MoreSigmasThanYou

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • > I knew a sysadmin who used to work for Walmart.

        By way of IT salesmen I know about Walmart’s tech stack. They were hand coding very complicated memory persistent database stuff in the 90s on custom equipment to get adequate performance for their logistics and inventory software. This was key to beating the competition at the time. Anecdotes since then confirm my assessment that they renaub highly competent.

        Here’s a key thing people don’t get: Amazon barely makes money; in fact they lose money on web retail. Walmart *always* makes money. If you check Walmart.com they will typically have cheaper prices, and they make money off those cheaper prices. I think it’s just a matter of time before Amazon has its Enron moment. They are riddled with accounting problems and have barely produced an economic profit on the massive amount of money sunk into them. I think Walmart stock is probably cheap and could mushroom into a huge thing when Amazon inevitably melts down.

        bobbybobbob

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • I have no understanding of Amazons margins or balance sheet. Their technology and service is amazing to the point that it seems like science fiction. Walmart is also the best at what they do.

        If I wanted to buy something that Walmart stocked locally, I would go to Walmart. If I wanted a book that Barnes & Noble stocked locally, I might go there. If I wanted anything that I could not buy locally, I would go to Amazon and buy from them, unless another online retailer offered it for significantly less, or Amazon didn’t carry it at all.

        Years ago Barnes & Noble made a real play at unseating Amazon. They failed. I don’t see any indication that Walmart will do it. However, as I alluded to before, I don’t really have what it takes to predict these things.

        Can Walmart undercut Amazon? It seems like they both do crazy high volume.

        MoreSigmasThanYou

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • “I don’t see any indication that Walmart will do it.”

        Amazon is into a lot more than just online retail. They’re trying to get in Microsoft and Google’s space as well. That’s why Walmart and Microsoft have teamed up to go after Amazon. Between the two of them. I think they could pose a real challenge. But I haven’t seen any signs of it yet.

        destructure

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • “. That’s why Walmart and Microsoft have teamed up to go after Amazon.”

        Clash of the titans! Godzilla and Mothra and Kong go at it!

        gothamette

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

    • This is totally true, Walmart’s self check out beats that at the various grocery stores I go to.

      Gozo

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • No doubt there is a dearth of black technicians/managers at headquarters in NW Ark, but are you saying you believe that big grocery chains like Safeway use self-checkout machines designed and built by blacks?

      Hermes

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • He’s saying it’s managerial competence. I would lean towards Wal-Mart stores having the sheer sales to make it pay for itself whereas grocery stores may not. There may be a shoplifting-prevention angle as well.

        anon

        October 16, 2018 at EST am

    • Walmart has a very professional back office. Also success breeds success. Because Walmart is known as a well-run, strategically brilliant organization, Walmart can easily attract top talent. I suspect Sears has suffered for years from the opposite problem. Sears’ problems have been widely discussed in business papers for years. What ambitious young person in marketing or retail wants to risk marking their career with the “Sears taint”?

      Peter Akuleyev

      October 16, 2018 at EST am

  6. Their claim to fame was Craftsman Tools, but then they outsourced them to China. So much for Made in America. 😦

    Brendan

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • Their catalog was totally revolutionary for its time (1894)

      MoreSigmasThanYou

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • The Sears catalogue was a lifeline for rural families, for decades.

        Petronella

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • It was then what Amazon is now. Even more so because there were fewer alternatives.

        MoreSigmasThanYou

        October 16, 2018 at EST am

      • “The Sears catalogue was a lifeline for rural families, for decades.”

        Indeed. Every outhouse had a copy. hehe

        destructure

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

  7. I bought some good stuff there, but switched to the internet shopping years ago. It’s business model is obsolete.

    Yakov

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

  8. My mother is definitely over 60 and has been saying “I don’t like to shop at Sears; it’s so depressingly empty in there” since at least 1988. Having been around this for so long, the remarkable thing to me is that Sears has clung to life until now.

    I think you need to be over 80 for the brand to have cachet.

    Wency

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • That was like my Grandmother buying the brand of car that was best in the 1930s, and then being confused when every single one of them had terrible reliability. Hey, I’m so old I remember when Google stood for “do no evil”!

      MoreSigmasThanYou

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

  9. Almost every time I shop, I wonder why I bother to do anything except Amazon and other etail.

    Yesterday went to Best Buy. No people to help. Half the shelves were empty. In the end, after walking all over, I found somebody to help (in another department), and he did find me what I wanted (nice black guy,by the way). I would assume Best Buy is a store on its way out. Lowe’s, which I recently went to, was ten times worse. No sales help, very little on the shelves, and what there was was just thrown helter-skelter.

    Walmart’s is always a decent shopping experience, in my experience.

    amused observer

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • Best Buy is still good for buying large TVs and appliances like washers and driers, for anything smaller, it’s better to buy online.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • PC Richards is better for appliances. Coherent sales people, quick repair/ service/ delivery. My incredibly cheap landlady back in the day swore by PC Richards and she was right!

        toomanymice

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • Best Buy is also a good place to go to physically touch things like cameras and phones to assess the ergonomics before you buy online.

        PerezHBD

        October 16, 2018 at EST am

    • Do you mean no people to help, or none even avaiIable to help? BB and Lowes may be accurately catering to their (predominantly male) customer base to the extent possible; unsolicited assistance is one of the most annoying things a man can experience.

      J1

      October 16, 2018 at EST am

      • Ideally, there should be a desk where you can get help, but help shouldn’t bug you while you are browsing. I’ve experienced being at Best Buy where I WANTED help but there was no one available. That can’t be good for business, some customers will just leave and go to PC Richards.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 16, 2018 at EST am

      • “unsolicited assistance is one of the most annoying things a man can experience.”

        I can tolerate being asked once or maybe twice. But being asked repeatedly when I’m looking and thinking is infuriating. Later, when they see a customer walking towards them looking straight at them they’ll run off.

        destructure

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

  10. I have not been in many Sears in years. They use to be a good place to shop for home appliances and tools, but there are lots of better places now for those.

    Sears was apparently taken over by a finance guy famous for cost cutting. He did a great job of closing Sears/Kmart locations and cutting costs, but spent almost nothing to modernize the remaining locations. Sears needed to re-invent itself, not just cut costs.

    MikeCA

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • In most cases it is impossible or prohibitively expensive to reinvent. You only see the store. You do not see the rest of the empire with all relationships, structures, systems, and processes. It is cheaper to start, tune, and then expand a new business model.

      My 2¢

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

  11. I don’t think I’ve been in a Sears in at least ten years. Nor do I see any reason to go to one.

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

  12. I see major retail disruptions happening. I do not think I like this. It used to be a quick free and fun trip to buy something (free because you still need to get out somewhere, buy food at farmers market or supermarket, or go out to eat). Now it takes time and/or money + risk due late delivery or stolen package + risk/cost due to decreasing quality of goods sold on line (returns etc.)

    My 2¢

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • Yes, online shopping has its own set of problems.

      Petronella

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

  13. When I was a kid in the late Seventies and early Eighties we would spend many hours in September, October, November and December poring over the Sears Wish Book, a huge catalog of Xmas gifts with many pages of toys. Our family would go to Sears sometimes, but usually for boring stuff like appliances. I also think Sears was one of the places that did “layaway,” which my mother would take advantage of.

    Gozo

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • Exact same here. I have a 30-y/o Sears Craftsman skill saw and a 40-y/o socket set that I still often use. I’ve bought batteries for my cars at Sears three or four times over the past ten years, but haven’t been in the store section in over ten years. I spent over $60 today on Amazon for a battery and charger for my lawn tools.

      E. Rekshun

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

  14. Test: does anyone remember Korvettes?

    gothamette

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • I remember “shop the other Korvettes, at Korvettes.” The marketing campaign didn’t work.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • Yes. I often heard that EJ Korvettes stood for Eight Jewish Korean Veterans. Wonder if that was just an urban legend.

      amused observer

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • Everyone heard it, but it was urban legend.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • I knew someone would say that. The founders were actually two Jewish WW2 vets. Their names were Eugene and Joe, hence EJ. The Korvette came from the navy vessel, the corvette. It was founded before the Korean war. I never heard that legend until way after the store closed.

        gothamette

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • Some other defunct NYC department stores include Alexander’s, Gimbel’s, S. Klein and Mays.

      Lewis Medlock

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • And I miss Alexander’s. You could get real silk shirts there for cheap. For men it was good, too. I got a 100% wool suit there, people used to ask me if it was a Chanel.

        gothamette

        October 16, 2018 at EST am

      • In Canada we used to have “Bargain Harold’s”.

        S.J., Esquire

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • I remember buying “Pet Sounds” (Beach Boys) on cassette tape as well as “Paper Lion” by George Plimpton from Alexander’s.

        Another department store from that era was Gertz.

        Lewis Medlock

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

      • No one mentioned the biggest department stores no longer in existence: Gimbels. Woolworth. Bradlees. Two Guys. Syms.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        October 17, 2018 at EST am

  15. According to a WSJ article within he past year, the Kmart on Guam is currently the most successful store in the chain.

    Jokah Macpherson

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • I’ve been in that K-Mart. Mainlanders love it because it looks exactly like what they’re used to back home, and the prices aren’t even as insane as they would be in Manhattan (or Hawai’i). It’s also popular with the legions of Asian tourists who go to Guam (as a cheaper alternative to Hawaii) and want to have a super-safe American shopping experience.

      Kyo

      October 16, 2018 at EST pm

  16. I was quite familiar with the discount chain Caldor as some of my friends in high school had part time jobs in the local store. About 20 years ago it was near death, a prior trip through bankruptcy reorganization having failed. In January 1999 the company made three announcements one right after another: (1) the Christmas shopping season, on which it had staked its slim hope of survival, had been a complete flop; (2) ;effective immediately the company would not be purchasing any new merchandise for the stores, as there was no money to pay for anything; and (3) sorry vendors, because Caldor was completely insolvent it wouldn’t be able to pay for merchandise it had already received.

    A few days later the liquidator’s representatives marched into the company headquarters in Connecticut and told everyone that the company was finished, and that everyone was canned effective immediately. In the many media reports that followed any number of now-former office workers whined that they were absolutely shocked – shocked! – that the end had come and they were out of work. Well, duh, the company’s impending demise was plainly obvious to everyone, especially the people in the home office. How they managed to be shocked and surprised is utterly incomprehensible.

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • I worked for a corporation where the writing had been on the wall. When we had an abruptly scheduled all-hands meeting where the news came in from corporate that we’d be finished in less than six months. People cried; they were shocked. People just hold out irrational hope. It’s like defendants who are guilty as hell but still surprised when the jury’s verdict comes in. Human nature.

      Vince

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

  17. There used to be a kmart on SI where target now is. The few times I went there it was in utter disarray. As in, stuff wouldn’t even scan at checkout, it wasn’t in the system.

    Sears I bought some appliances at, it seemed ok. A nice russian saleswoman got me to buy my first and last dyson vacuum cleaner there. They (dyson vacuum cleaners) are WAY overrated.

    toomanymice

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • The Target is a HUGE improvement over the Kmart. Much neater, prettier, better lit, more attractive, cleaner, etc.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • You are comparing a 30 year old woman to a 80 year old woman.

        My 2c

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • That target is pretty bad in its own right. You must have low standards.

        toomanymice

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

      • Target tried to come to Canada but it was one of the biggest retail failures of all time. They replaced Zellers, a venerable Canadian chain, but lasted less than two years. Most of the stores are still standing empty.

        Petronella

        October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • “They (dyson vacuum cleaners) are WAY overrated.”

      Oh, tell me about it! I bought one several years ago – it’s still working and I have no complaints but basically it’s just a souped up Hoover. I’ve heard that Miele’s are terrific. Do you have any experience with them?

      gothamette

      October 16, 2018 at EST pm

  18. Hi fellow Male Sexualist. My blog was just shut down by WordPress, possibly for Male Sexualist content. Can you show me a site that has no freedom of speech or could you possibly blog about my case? Thank you!

    Robert A. Lindsay

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • Most internet corporations follow the same model. They nitially allow everyone to sell goods, provide services, generate content. Then eventually, after becoming a large monopoly, they shut all small independent contributors down.

      My 2c

      October 16, 2018 at EST am

    • Is your profile pic Richard Gaikowski, a suspect in the Zodiac killings.

      Baron Julius Evola

      November 4, 2018 at EST pm

      • Nope, that’s me. A lot of people say I look like Jeffrey Dahmer though.

        Robert A. Lindsay

        November 4, 2018 at EST pm

    • So have you stopped blogging completely? How are you supporting yourself–just with your “trust fund”?

      I hadn’t read your blog in a while before it was closed, but nonetheless it seemed like a devastating blow to the whole HBD/alt-left/right/politically incorrect movement when I found out about it.

      GondwanaMan

      November 5, 2018 at EST am

      • Yes. Well, we fucked up. I read their TOS a long time ago but I forgot about it. I had commenters on there saying stuff like, “Death to Feminists!”, “Kill the feminists!”, “One bullet, one feminist!” I left it up there because it’s protected speech and also I basically agree with it lol. I think I might have added, “When do we start?” or “Where do I sign up?” Well, that’s a violation of WordPress’ TOS. You cannot incite violence against people or groups. I had no idea we were violating WP’s TOS, otherwise I would have never have left that up there.

        A radical feminist dyke who hates men as much as Hitler hated Jews complained and got us taken down. I can blog again at my old site on Blogger but they will probably ban me there too. I have all my old WordPress content, but you have to import it to another WordPress site.

        Weird thing is I am a liberal-Leftist, and all of my enemies are on the Left. I can’t describe how unspeakably cruel and evil they have been to me over the years. I get banned very quickly from almost every liberal or leftwing website. I have lifetime bans at most of them. And as you can see my fellow Lefties got my whole site taken down, de-platformed basically.

        I don’t agree with conservatism at all, but conservatives have been very kind to me, despite the Left saying what monsters they all are. If I didn’t dislike conservatism so much, I would support Republicans if only to spit in the eyes of the Left for what they did to me.

        Thank you so much for your kind words. Comments like that really make my day.

        Robert A. Lindsay

        November 5, 2018 at EST am

      • I delete comments that have threats of violence in them.

        Another reason why I can’t just open up the comments and let anyone say anything without strict supervision.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 5, 2018 at EST am

      • Good idea as you are on WordPress. Threats of violence are the one thing and the only thing that you will get you shut down in a Manhattan minute. And don’t threaten violence yourself, of course. I wish I had known this stuff before, then none of this shit would have happened.

        Robert A. Lindsay

        November 5, 2018 at EST pm

      • Yes, Gondwana, I am blogging here right now. You can head on over if you wish. We would love to have you there. I always loved your comments.

        https://robert-lindsay.blogspot.com/

        Robert A. Lindsay

        November 5, 2018 at EST pm

  19. Sears opened up a couple of appliance and tool stores around me, which seem to be doing OK.l I think they sell beds too. If they stripped down to those things, along with the auto centers (and got out of malls), they might be able to survive. I don’t see how they could be competitive in other categories. Also, why isn’t anybody other than WalMart making a serious effort at going after Amazon for online sales? It seems like somebody ought to be able to make that work.

    J1

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

  20. Related.

    Dave Pinsen

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • Nice pic.

      In my ‘hood, an Amazon distribution center replaced the Downtown Sears.
      Perfect metaphor for the passing of the baton from one mail order retail behemoth to the next.

      Before:

      After:

      Thin-Skinned Masta-Beta

      October 16, 2018 at EST pm

  21. As an old fart (I am 60) I liked shopping at Sears because they had a section for Levi’s and Lands End which are the two clothing brands I like most. A few years ago I was shopping with my (then) teenage daughter at Forever 21 to replace her torn jeans. I touched some of the denim pants which had a strange feel. I realized that the pants were made from paper thin denim and were crap. I marched her down to Sears and made her buy some Levi’s which she might still be wearing.
    I wondered into the last K-Mart in Silicon valley (now gone) several years ago. I was impressed with how dismal it was.

    Larry, San Francisco

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

    • K-marts look about the same they looked 25 years ago. They sucked at the time. Target and Walmart also look about the same as 25 years ago. Changes are minimal: some or all automotive goods are gone, leather goods like bags are gone. Incadescent light bulbs are gone. Walmart is bringing more toys and bicycles now that ToysRUs is gone. Businesses do not change much, they cannot.

      My 2c

      October 16, 2018 at EST am

      • I see it the other way: they subtlety change a good deal over 30 years, we just don’t realize it.

        Walmart didn’t used to contain a full grocery store. When I was a kid (80s and early 90s), the right 1/3rd of Target stores was always toys. Not anymore. Now Target stores have way more clothes and in some cases full grocery.

        anon

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

  22. There was one very funny scene in the Rocky and Bullwinkle movie (2000), which I thought was pretty funny although it got bad reviews. Rocky and Bullwinkle wake up after being in syndication limbo for 20 years, and they drive down a contemporary American street with all the chain stores, etc., and they are shocked. It was funny.

    gothamette

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

  23. I haven’t posted any of my cute-girls-and-big-guns videos lately. Sorry, I’ve been remiss. In an attempt to remedy the situation, here’s a short clip of a reasonably cute girl firing a 300 Winchester Magnum. It’s not an elephant gun,* but it’s still a real thumper and way more than most adult men could handle. She seems fine with it.
    * = as you can’t hunt elephants any more, a better term would be African cape buffalo gun

    Peter

    ironrailsironweights

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

  24. not surprising. these stores were poorly run and tended to have low quality merchandise, customers, and employees (the very left of the bell curve)

    grey enlightenment

    October 15, 2018 at EST pm

  25. The current retail model has moved away from owning locations. Wal-mart. for example, does not own any of their stores. These are leases from other owners.

    Sears actually owned the properties. The hedge fund guy that bought Sears had an eye on the real estate.

    map

    October 16, 2018 at EST am

    • I bet the real-estate is overvalued. It’s mostly good for opening another department store, and there aren’t any other department stores expanding right now.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      October 16, 2018 at EST am

      • The Sears in my city has been up for sale for over a year but no one bought it. It is in a former booming mall that now is so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

        The Wal-Mart’s here are packed…busy as hell. Target does OK and all other retail is like a ghost town. The KMart shut down a couple of years ago and the parking lot has become a big homeless camp. There is a chain big box store here called Shopko. It is so dead I am amazed they stay in business. Sometimes I am the only customer in the whole big store. It has such an eerie vibe…people joke that it has a smell…like you are smelling 1980 when they had customers. That is funny to me because I notice that odor.

        Jay Fink

        October 16, 2018 at EST pm

  26. Drudge just had a banner headline designed to troll you, Lion: NYC has had its first shooting-free weekend in 25 years. And you said stopping “stop & frisk” wd result in an uptick of crime.

    Take that, Chiraq!

    gothamette

    October 16, 2018 at EST am

  27. I think, like many men, I have no positive emotional association that with any clothes shopping venue. That being the case, I’ll shop wherever is conveniently located, which meant I went to Sears a lot (relatively). However, presumably most of the dollars spent the night kind of shopping are spent by women. Also, presumably women tend to have much stronger or positive or negative associations with different brands of stores. So its not my cohort’s opinion of brand value that will make or break a department store.

    Blue Tribe Dissident

    October 16, 2018 at EST am

  28. OT: NYT, 10/15/18 – Paul G. Allen, Microsoft’s Co-Founder, Is Dead at 65

    In 2000, as I finished up my MBA, I had a series of seven increasingly higher-level job interviews over two weeks with Microsoft at Redmond, WA and Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I thought the interviews went very well and got excellent feedback, but no job offer was forthcoming. I think it was because my Spanish, though pretty good, was not fluent; the job was going to involve a lot of travel to South America.

    E. Rekshun

    October 16, 2018 at EST am

  29. I can’t find it now, but I read an article a few months ago about what a tyrant the CEO, Eddie Lampert, is and how the executives are terrified of him in meetings. I remember it saying that he yells at people for referring to customers as “customers” and wants them to be called something weird like “members” instead.

    Hermes

    October 16, 2018 at EST pm

  30. these are prole stores

    grey enlightenment

    October 16, 2018 at EST pm

  31. On Twitter there is a huge discussion about how Sears helped black people get around Southern store owners and their racism.

    Not kidding.

    gothamette

    October 16, 2018 at EST pm


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