Sears about to file for bankruptcy

The argument is specific to Sears, since that is the thread topic. They’re a trusted brand. If you walk into Sears and buy something, you know it’s not a Chinese counterfeit, you know exactly who is selling it to you, you walk out of the store with your purchase in your hands, and if you have a problem you can walk back into the store and talk to a human face to face.

Either you have more business know-how than all the decision-makers at Amazon combined; or else you’re dead wrong.

If you’re right, then please explain why Amazon is expanding into the brick-and-mortar retail world as fast as they can possibly go.

Yup, had the same thing happen with buying portable printer tape. The store brand was like $15 per cartridge and the online store had the same brand for about 1/2 the price. I didn’t realize that the online cartridges had 11 feet of tape vs 30 feet for the one at the store. It didn’t occur to me to check the length of the tape inside the cartridge in the details. Everything else matched up in the description. I ended up paying more per foot for the online version.
I could have FELT the difference if I had both rolls in my hand at the store.

What?, Where?
The only presence I’ve seen is at existing shops (Kohls) where you can return already purchased Amazon stuff. They’ll give you credit immediately and return the goods for you.

I suspected HUGE Amazon retail centers would eventually open up somewhere, maybe in shuttered Sears locations?

This is what happens when you have an Ayn Rand fanboy as your CEO. He told the divisions to fight it out for supremacy and they all lost.

Amazon bought Whole Foods recently and they also opened up a few stores with no cashiers/checkout, all automated. They are planning 3,000 cashierless stores by 2021.

I suppose. When you NEED something and can’t be arsed to wait the two days to have it shipped (raises hand).

I remember my recreational outrage a few decades back when I heard that Sears had dictated to their suppliers that they were being put on a net-90 (net-120?) payment schedule regardless of whatever agreement they previously had. Sears debate point on the matter boiled down to, “What are you going to do about it?”

That worm turned with a vengeance.

Is now a good time to get a good deal on a stove?

Only 10% of retail sales are done online. So why would that cause so many department stores to go under? Sears, Kmart, Elder Beerman, JcPenney, etc. are all struggling.

Meanwhile places like Target are still doing fine. Hope depot, lowes, walmart, etc. seem to be doing fine.

So why are some doing bad and not others? Auto parts stores, home improvement stores, etc. are still doing fine and those parts can be bought online too.

Generally speaking, when you need an alternator or a water heater, you need it NOW. Bulky stuff like plywood and sheet rock can be ordered online, but shipping is going to be expensive.

I’ve read multiple times that it’s due to a shift in spending from things to experiences (e.g. travel, food, entertainment), but this article disagrees and thinks the actual shift is due to expenses related to health care, insurance and pensions:

Many questions there, and many complicated answers – and other than some of the obvious facts that I previously stated, I frankly admit I know next to nothing about the business and marketing aspects of it. I speak only in my capacity as an ordinary consumer; that said …

Target may be doing so-so in the US, but they made a big-splash entry into Canada a few years ago, and the following happened: (1) they got some guidance from Canadian marketers on how to proceed, (2) they told the Canadians to get lost because they were a billion-dollar multinational and didn’t need local yokels to tell them what to do, (3) after a short while they gave up and got the hell out of Dodge with at least $5.4 billion in losses. Meanwhile Walmart Canada – which understands retail in their specific discount market segment – is expanding and doing great.

I assume Hope Depot is doing well because we all need hope :wink: – but Home Depot, Lowes, and auto parts stores are a different market than ordinary retail. In many cases, the market is that you need a part, and you need it NOW! Or in others, like buying a lawn mower or patio furniture, it’s fun to browse and kind of important to get a feel of the item. These are all nuances that lead many specialty stores to succeed while many commodity retailers fail. Also, as I said earlier, upscale luxury items are a specialty market, and the ambience is part of the whole buying experience.

To cite some personal anecdotes, when I was at the previously mentioned HBC a few weeks ago I bought what I needed but was so sucked in by the pleasant atmosphere that I picked up a few minor luxury items just to dress up the house and carry the ambience home. You don’t get that with online shopping. Conversely, I get totally skeevy vibes from Walmart and would rather not go there at all. They’re disorganized, understaffed with uncaring morons, and stocked with a mix of some useful items and a lot of total junk. I’d rather get my stuff from Amazon.

By an odd coincidence, though I am very rarely at Walmart, I was there just this evening, and it proves out all my beliefs once again. The item I was looking for was supposed to be available at the local Walmart, but it wasn’t, or at least I couldn’t find it in the disorganized mess, and there was no one to ask. I actually drove to a different Walmart some distance away, and found the thing. Or so I thought. After buying it at what seemed like an unusually low price, I decided to look more closely before driving home. Ah! It was a totally different model than what I wanted, that looked similar, and had been stocked on exactly the same rack as the other one! Another disorganized mess!

I fortunately got it sorted out at the service counter without having to drive home and back again. When I mentioned to the service person that the two items had been totally mixed together and it was likely that another customer would get the wrong item, do you think I got a response like “we’re sorry, and we’ll make sure that gets corrected”? No. Not even a grunt of acknowledgment. So this is what I mean when I say that I despise Walmart. I do see the advantages of Amazon, but, again, online shopping can’t beat the high end shopping experience. But for this sort of thing it would have been smarter to just order it on Amazon and wait one or two days. I checked later and the price was identical, shipping included.

Margins; online squeezes margins.