If you remember the 90’s, you probably remember the Sears commercials that would always play on TV. Whether you wanted to get a chainsaw or a bedspread, Sears was the place to go. In just about every shopping mall, you could see a flourishing Sears. However, now that shopping malls aren’t really doing as well as they used to, major hubs like Sears are not getting the traffic they used to. It has gotten to the point where Sears finally had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Internet shopping is a big reason why 142 Sears stores will now be closed. Sears was once a retail giant that owned Allstate insurance and many different radio stations as well. They had at one time the tallest building in the world. Having to compete with online retail giants like Amazon has crushed what Sears used to be. With 700 stores left over, Sears will do their best to try to come back from this loss. However, if Toys’R’Us is anything like Sears, these efforts may be all for naught. Toys’R’Us tried their hardest to bring themselves out of bankruptcy but were not able to when creditors were not convinced of their long-term restructuring plan.
Five years ago, Sears employed a quarter of a million Americans. In February of 2018, Sears was employing just over 80,000 employees. This is a big drop that has left many without jobs that they once counted on. Sears history goes all the way back to the 80’s. We’re not talking about the 1980’s, we’re talking about the 1880’s. This store’s rich history started with mail-order catalogs which now is ironically being taken out by the modern day mail-order catalog, online retailers.
Sears is trying to make some bold moves that will keep them more competitive in today’s digital market. By selling their Kenmore appliances on Amazon, this may help to keep them a bit more relevant. It will be interesting to see what the next few months and possibly years have in store for Sears. If they are able to make it out of this restructuring, they will have to find a way to become more relevant in a much more digital age than ever before.