General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Is this the end for Sears? Selling Craftsman tools to Black and Decker.

Asked by elbanditoroso (21694points) January 5th, 2017

I’ve been using Craftsman stuff for decades – they used to make some of the best home-grade tools around.

Now Sears – which has been on a downhill slope for years – has sold Craftsman to B&D. article

(B&D played some cute financial games a couple years ago and are not what I would consider a serious name in tools)

If Sears is selling off the one thing that gave them credibility, how long can they last?

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22 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Sears has been dying a slow painful death for so long. I walked through our local store a few months back to get to another part of the mall, and was dumbfounded at how bad it was.

They sold Craftsman for a song. Just enough to let them ease out of all their leases and shut the chain down.

chyna's avatar

Sears is closing their store in my town this month. It makes me wonder what will become of their Kenmore brand. All of my appliances are Kenmore. I guess K-Mart will take over some of their brands, but how long will they be around? The one in my area never has more than 10 people at a time shopping and it is totally junky looking.

janbb's avatar

Funny story. We were once taking our high school aged son to Sears to look for a winter jacket and he said, “Do you think we need to call and tell them we’re coming?”

I agree that Craftsman was one of the best things about Sears. Kind of sad but as others have said, it’s been a long time dying.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@chyna – last time I was in a Sears, admittedly at least two years ago, there were no customers at all. Just me. There were salespeople standing around.

The shelves and displays were basically half full – almost unstocked. As if they hadn’t gotten any new merchandise in for the fall.

Did Kenmore ever make its own stuff? I thought it was all Whirlpool or RCA (or whatever) that had a Kenmore label slapped on.

janbb's avatar

@elbanditoroso Yeah – Kenmore isn’t made by them.

Strauss's avatar

This is the latest in a string of actions that have been the slow death of a once-great institution, long a symbol of U. S. prosperity. I can remember (geezing now) when the Sears brands—Craftsman, Kenmore, DieHard, etc., were synonymous with quality and dependability. Sears might not have manufactured their own merchandise, but it used to be manufactured to Sears’ high standards and backed by exceptional warranty services.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

At least for me, Sears has always been the best place to buy major appliances. I had to replace my refrigerator this past summer; I found just what I needed at Sears.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow. Believe it or not, I found the nicest couch at Sears in 1990.
This is the only picture of it I could find quickly.

Strauss's avatar

I once heard someone say that Craftsman tools are better for B&D!

Edit: that should read: ”...better than B&D!”

JLeslie's avatar

I am shocked Sears is still open. The industry has been predicting the death of sears for almost 20 years. I agree the tools were one of Sears’ better draws. I’ve bought some shoes there at times, and used their automotive in the past, but not recently.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I miss the old school “real” tools. Everything is shit now.

MrGrimm888's avatar

My family still has my grandfather’s old shotgun. It says Sears & Robuck as a brand name. So, guess they used to make firearms too.

chyna's avatar

They used to make houses too.

zenvelo's avatar

They also sold cars.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Remember for a while, they also owned Lands End, and sold LE clothing in their stores. But I think they sold off Lands End in 2013.

Strauss's avatar

My dad told me about Sears Homes. There were a lot of them in a certain part of the industrial town where he grew up. He told me that certain employers would allow the employees to purchase these homes through payroll deductions. Many of the homes in these neighborhoods are similar to The Starlight, shown here, which would retail for the 2016 equivalent of roughly $10,000 to $30,000, not including the lot.

janbb's avatar

Someone once suggested that our first home was a Sears house and it does look a lot like the Vallonia without the second story dormer.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@janbb Where we lived in Connecticut there were three house down the hill from us that were carried up from the town train station (delivered from Sears Roebuck). They confirmed two of them by taking the front porches apart; they found the numbers for the assembly of the house on the underside of the boards

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Here’s a really fun piece about some Sears houses in the Washington DC area: http://www.searshomes.org/index.php/2012/03/08/the-sears-homes-in-washington-dc/. I like how the catalogue drawings are compared to photos of the finished results.

These houses really do seem to have solid construction. A few of them have been renovated, over the years, in less-than-fortunate ways, but most remain very charming.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

@Strauss I had no idea. I’ve been looking at those houses. They came with an optional bathroom. Looks like it may have stopped in 1940.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

My Grandfather worked as a contractor that installed central heat & indoor plumbing in many of those houses in and around Boston from 1914 to 1919.

JLeslie's avatar

That link with the houses was awesome. I’ve lived in more than one place that the houses looked like many of those houses, and some probably were Sears homes. I grew up near D.C. and the suburbs of NYC.

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