Dwindling tool access: Sears to close over 100 stores

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Forum topic by Loren posted 12-27-2011 08:18 PM 1921 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10477 posts in 3915 days

12-27-2011 08:18 PM

Sears and Kmart combined will be closing over 100 retail stores.

Hey, I’m not in love with Sears or with the Craftsman power tools
especially, but the wrenches and lawnmowers and things like that
are good quality.

With Sears stores closing, our choices in the US will be even
more limited in terms of places to buy tools and appliances.

29 replies so far

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3748 days

#1 posted 12-27-2011 08:21 PM

Oh wow…hadnt heard that. I used to buy a lot of tools from Sears, guess I never had any real problems with them, I like the Kenmore brand for appliances.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2960 days

#2 posted 12-27-2011 08:26 PM

That’s sad. No matter what we think about Craftsman, it’s an iconic brand. I’ve got some of my Grandfather’s solid state Craftsman stuff like ratchets, wrenches, etc. Sure, they look a bit coarse next to a SnapOn or Klein, but they’re still chugging along. I broke a 20+year old socket and took it to Sears. The guy told me to grab one off the shelf; and that was that. That’s hard not to respect.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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4541 posts in 3342 days

#3 posted 12-27-2011 08:48 PM

Craftsman was a good brand at one time. With respect to power tools, that day is past.

They are still my primary source for wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, etc. but I don’t buy a lot of that kind of stuff. Recently, they were the only place I could find a size 0000 screwdriver which is what I needed to change the battery in a Kobalt digital caliper that I had purchased at Lowes. Lowes sold the calipe,r with an included extra battery, and I had to go to Sears to get the screwdriver I needed to change the battery. Something wrong about that.

It’s sad to read that 100 stores will be closed, but it’s just a manifestation of the decline that has been going on for over 20 years.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

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1381 posts in 4395 days

#4 posted 12-27-2011 08:51 PM

Will the Sears closings create a void or an opportunity?

Actually, they are only closing 3% of their locations.

FWIW: Ace Hardware Stores now carry Craftsman tools.

Bro. Tenzin, OFI

-- 温故知新

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5767 posts in 3499 days

#5 posted 12-27-2011 08:52 PM

Craftsman woodworking related tools have left a LOT to be desired for a long time. However their mechanics hand tools have maintained a consistently high level of quality. The good thing is they have started distributing them through Ace Hardware outlets in the last couple of years… I have a LOT of Craftsman mechanics tools, and they are every bit as good as my Snap On stuff… And a LOT cheaper to boot…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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5590 posts in 3930 days

#6 posted 12-27-2011 08:57 PM

Sad, but not unexpected. Sears has, IMNTBHO, been circling the drain for years.

There was a time when Sears stood for both quality and service (Al’s experience with the busted socket mirrors an experience I had with them back in the early 60’s). Not so much anymore.

Ten years ago, I bought a lawn tractor and a snow blower from Sears. They both had the Craftsman name, but both turned out to be junk (Sears didn’t even stock blades, oil filters, etc. for them the year after I bought them).

Both have been replaced by products from Ariens.


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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Bill White

5167 posts in 4228 days

#7 posted 12-27-2011 10:16 PM

Serves ‘em right. Hate to sound like a grinch, but seems like no execs EVER view the opinions voiced on our sites. Yes, it is a shame to see a once fine brand go in the crapper, but who did it? The consumer walks away from unworthy stuff. He!!, even HF has a lifetime warrenty on hand tools.


View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3915 days

#8 posted 12-27-2011 10:26 PM

With Sears stores closing down, your access to walk-in tool stores
will be restricted to stores with limited selections, giant home centers
that squirrel profits into offshore tax shelters (not that Sears wouldn’t),
and lower-end outfits like Harbor Freight. I’d go insane if I had to
work with tools got only from that place.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3441 days

#9 posted 12-27-2011 10:38 PM

It’s tough to know what happened, here.

Once Sears bought out K-Mart, they probably did either or both of a couple of things:

1) Re-branded some K-Mart stores as Sears stores, and/or

2) Re-merchandised some stores, in an effort to align them with their markets.

In my town, they re-merchandised the K-Mart to look like a little Sears.

Over time, they’d have had to see what the market would bear—could it support stores where there was overlap without unnecessarily cannibalizing the sale of existing stores.

Over time, and as leases expired (where they didn’t own the building and/or the land), they’d have to make some business decisions about buying out the leases of, or simply shuttering, unprofitable locations.

Which may or may not have anything to do with tools, any single department, or even the economy.

I’ve been in charge of this sort of thing, after a company I worked for acquired several other chains. You play the shell game for a while, but … eventually … some closures are pretty much inevitable.

-- -- Neil

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3702 days

#10 posted 12-27-2011 11:01 PM

Actually you have to look at the bigger historical picture to understand.

Sears was the store that was hollowed by the American Public as being a really decent store where good and sturdy products could be purchased with confidence that Sears backed them up.

K-Mart (Kreske) was a 5 and dime store selling crap. K-Mart filed for bankruptcy in 2001/2 and closed stores, then after successfully wiping out it’s debts with the bankruptcy. Emerging with a big bundle of cash, it bought Sears because the K-Mart brand name was now trashed, so it used Sears as a front. The mode of operations became – use the Sears good name to unload crap. Sears was raped.
But that’s good old American business strategy, get out of jail free and continue as before.

Pity that a fine company like Sears has been brought to it’s knees ….......... 2 options left now, Wal-Mart and Dollar General. :-)

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3748 days

#11 posted 12-27-2011 11:58 PM

Yep, actually billionaire Brian Lampert owns Sears Holdings, which owns Sears and Kmart. He bought Kmart from bankruptcy in 2003 and then bought Sears in 2004.

I think the general feeling is that Sears no longer offers good deals like Walmart and Target, plus their stores are dumpy looking like Kmart used to be so nobody shops at Sears anymore. Sears has taken on the Kmart look.

We used to have another discount store here called Shoppers City which was a real dump…much worse than Kmart even, but they went under too.

I am lucky to have Acme Tool just down the street from me. They sell all the big tool brands including machinery like Powermatic, Delta, and Jet. Their store is big, imaculate, and well lighted. Its fun to go there. I also get a 10% discount on just about anything with my woodworkers guild membership.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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5362 posts in 3511 days

#12 posted 12-28-2011 12:47 AM

Tools , no matter which brand, aren’t things that people buy every day A company has to either charge a lot of money, or diversify. They can’t rely on tools alone for their business.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3336 days

#13 posted 12-28-2011 01:10 AM

A hundred stores is actually a pretty small number. They have also been selling Craftsman tools in other outlets for a while now. I can get Craftsman tools in my local ACE hardware as well as Orchard Supply (a small chain in the SF Bay area.)

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 3411 days

#14 posted 12-28-2011 01:16 AM

I’ve bought some household appliances from Sears but rarely tools. Every time I tried to find something on their website it was difficult to get proper information and then I’d have no idea whether it was stocked at my local Sears anyway, and sadly Sears (or at least my local one) is one of those stores that will usually ignore a female in the tools section, even when you’re trying to get help.

View Stephenw's profile


273 posts in 2653 days

#15 posted 12-28-2011 01:37 AM

Sears was built on catalog sales. They used to have a catalog store in nearly every small town in America. Instead of closing all those stores, they should have used them to build an online sales distribution network. They could have been where Amazon is now.

My local store is usually nearly deserted. The shelves are a mess. Far too many of their hand tools are now made in China.

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