Friday, January 6, 2017

Shed a tear for Sears Roebuck

The Wall St Journal reports that Sears is selling its Craftsman brand of tools to Stanley/Black & Decker.  And Sears is selling off a bunch of stores, both Kmart and Sears, and borrowing wads of money.  Sounds like poor old Sears Roebuck is not long for this world.  Too bad.  Way back when, (1950's) Sears was the biggest US retailer, with good big stores in every town and every mall.  Back in the day, Sears was best known  as a hardware store, Craftsman tools and Kenmore kitchen appliances.  As a young hot rodder in the the 50's,  when I had a  1/2" drive Craftsman socket set and sets of Craftsman wrenches (open end, box end and combination) I was set in the tool department.  Craftsman was a good as you could get, with the famous "You break it and we will replace it free" guarantee.  In my home shop today, most of my tools, hand and power, are still Craftsman, many of them still running happily  and going on 50 years old.
  Dunno what happened to Sears to sink it so deep.  I suppose a lot of Walmart's and Target's  and Lowes' and Home Depot's growth has been at Sears expense.  Sears used to sell nothing but house brands, Craftsman,m Diehard, and Kenmore being as well regarded as anything on the market, with J.C. Higgins, Silvertone,  Homart, and Dunlap being not so great.  Sears used to give a lot of floor space to clothing, but I never remember Sears clothing being all that cool. 
   Somewhere I suppose there is a business book describing how Sears went down the drain, but I  haven't seen it.


DCE said...

I also have a full set of Craftsman tools, some I bought, some I inherited from my grandfather, and some given to me by my dad. I've had to replace very few over the years. All I can do is hope that S/B&D will keep the quality what it has been.

Seeing Sears' decline has been heartbreaking.

Dstarr said...

When my Grandfather died I was still a child and all of Grandfather's tools went to my father and my uncles. When the Alzheimer's got to my father, his tools and my Grandfather's tools came down to me and my brother. Grandfather didn't have much Craftsman stuff but my father had quite a bit. My old man liked the Craftsman all steel chisels cause he could hit them with a regular steel hammer without damaging their handles.
One of these days my tools will go down to my sons, but hopefully that day is far in the future.