Sears is selling Craftsman to Stanley Black & Decker, closing 150 stores


#1

$775 million sale.

I walked into a Sears for the first time in about a decade last month. Amazing. Empty clothing racks, garbage on the floor, and grimy walls hidden behind some K-Mart quality products. I think the tool area was the only place with shoppers.


#2

Macy’s got crushed this year too.


#3

I haven’t shopped inside a Sears since I was in high school almost 20 years ago.


#4

Sounds like my last Sears experience. I was in the mall picking something up around Thanksgiving and decided to walk through for the exercise. Total ghost town with employees wandering aimlessly because there was no one to help. I did end up picking up some grill cleaner for a couple bucks so it wasn’t a complete loss. Not surprised that this is one of the locations closing (which leaves the local mall with two empty anchor stores).


#5

I for one thinks it’s a shame as I have family working for them. Strange decision… Crafstman is a well-respected tool brand, what better asset could they have?


#6

The old retailers just never figured out how to move into the modern economy.


#7

Nothing, really. Kenmore Appliances is the only other asset Sears has with any brand recognition, but I doubt it’s worth as much as Craftsman.


#8

Some retailers are doing okay. Target has done well, except for that our-entire-system-was-hacked thing.

Best Buy has bounced back. They finally decided to do price-matching with online, among other things, and they’re growing again.

Sears is a proud name, but they never adapted correctly. They got rid of their catalog, which was sort of the correct move, but they didn’t go into online, which should have been a natural for a company that was originally a catalog.

Meanwhile, merging it with K-Mart was a horrendous mistake. K-Mart totally deserved to die. Instead, they got saddled with each other.

Can’t believe Eddie Lampert is still running things. He’s been there for more than a decade, and the entire company has done nothing but wither.


#9

“They” say Craftsman isn’t what it used to be, but tbh I’ve never been disappointed. Black and Decker, on the other hand, has let me down more than once, mainly with appliances.

My local Sears closed last year, and I was sad to see it go. Mainly because of long-established habit, they were still my first stop for staples like jeans, socks, and underpants, plus oddball stuff like 2-stroke motor oil and 1/2" socket wrench extenders. But so much of the store was clearly surplus to requirements. The jewelry and housewares sections were just painfully sad.

The merger with K-Mart was the beginning of the end for Borders Books, too, IIRC.


#10

Yup. Merging with K-Mart was super-dumb. Sears was seen by most as a respectable, but stodgy department store that just wasn’t adapting well to modern times. It was the go-to for tools, appliances, lawnmowers, kitchen goods, and some bland un-stylish clothing. It needed a brand revamp and a good online strategy. Instead, they merged with K-Mart, which most consumers uncharitably viewed as a dirty ghetto store with cheap crap.

I always thought Sears should’ve doubled down on hardware and tools and completely left the clothing business. Of course, the best move would’ve been capitalizing on their rep as the catalog company and beat Amazon to that game, but that would’ve taken a lot more foresight than really anyone had.


#11

We had a Sears Hardware store close to us a year or two back. It was the size of a small supermarket and only sold Craftsman tools, appliances and a fairly wide range of generic home improvement stuff. It wasn’t the match for a Home Depot or Lowes in terms of size and selection (nor did it sell lumber or raw construction materials), but if I had to find an weird-measurement tool or an obscure electrical connector, it was fantastic. Their selection of tools was great too, putting the other stores above to shame. Sadly, they shut down about this time last year.

I’ve also bought my appliances (dishwasher, refrigerator) from Sears in recent years. Their prices and ratings were generally better than their competitors and installation costs were trivial. Their financing wasn’t too bad either, though nothing out of the ordinary - a credit card with a no-interest for XX months type of thing.

I guess I’ll miss them, but honestly I’m surprised that any traditional department store can stay in business nowadays. It just doesn’t seem like a business model that works in today’s world.


#12

From what it sounds like, they will retain the use of the brand name for many years and get a cut on the proceeds of Craftsman tools sold elsewhere and only have to pay a small amount to sell them forever on in their stores. I dunno, maybe it is a good deal for Sears after all.


#13

We still have two Sears stores here. I was in one of them twice before Christmas and they were well stocked.

But they have become that store in which everything is listed as some percentage off. Whether it be 20% or 75%. I also don’t see how any store can make money selling all the different things they offer now.


#14

Going to Sears is a sad experience. I order my stuff online, usually a Craftsmen tool of some sort, and pick it up in an area that looks like the refuge of things they can’t fit in a warehouse somewhere. The last time i was there and walked around, everyone there looked 55 and older, I passed no less than five employees without a single of them saying a word, a cashier was explaining loudly to a confused looking woman why they couldn’t help her in store, and there was a huge ladder blocking the Christmas clearance section.

I know my parents have this attachment to Sears, but it’s not enjoyable to shop there.


#15

The Sears in the mall near me is on the closure list. It’s a totally healthy mall with absolutely no shortage of crowds and shoppers. One of the major malls in the Seattle area.

But I was in the Sears right before Christmas and I felt sad. The escalators were so broken that they were completely blocked off, and you had to take the rickety and slow elevator to the 2nd floor, where all the appliances and housewares were located. While not technically a ghost town, it felt like it compared to the rest of the mall.

It was so weird. There was a bicycle section that was empty. I thought to myself: who the hell buys a bike from Sears?


#16

Are malls themselves, the self enclosed take a long walk type malls, starting to die off?

The “hottest” mall area here is an outdoors affair, with the stores spaced far enough apart that for many of them you would need to move your car. But there is an area in the middle with theaters, food, open seating and small niche places that does really well.


#17

Depends on where you are. Some malls are doing great others not so much.

Our Sears is not in the mall. Neither the Sears here or Macy’s here, so far, are on the chopping block.


#18

Not bad looking little spaces.


#19

Craftsman is the only reason I’ve walked into a Sears for the last 20 years, other than humidifier filters in the late autumn. But from what I’ve read, Sears will still carry Craftsman stuff so if you’re used to that then you’re fine. Problem for Sears is that Stanley/B&D will be expanding where you can buy them, and I have to assume that means Home Depot and Lowes.


#20

Yup. Sears gets a cut of those out-of-location sales, according to the deal, but what they lose is the customer - who is now going to Lowe’s or Home Depot to buy that tool.