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The W - Random - Sears, Kmart to merge
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Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1269 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Talk about worlds colliding...
    Originally posted by Fred Barbash in the 11/17 Washington Post
    Sears and Kmart, troubled in recent years by lackluster sales, uninviting stores and, most significantly, competition from Wal-Mart and Target, announced a merger today that will create the nation's third largest retailer.

    The company will combine by March under the name of Sears Holding Corporation, according to a joint press release.

    Together, Sears and Kmart will have about $55 billion in annual revenue and 3,500 retail stores, the announcement said. That will put it behind Wal-Mart and Target among U.S. retailers, by some distance.

    Both companies have deep roots in American corporate history.

    Sears, Roebuck and Co., founded by Richard Sears and Alvah Roebuck, came into existence in 1893 in Chicago. As the country's first national catalog operation, the Amazon of its time, it became the first cross-country retailer of almost everything, eventually opening catalog stores and then department stores across the country. Many of them fell into disrepair in the 1960s and 1970s, however.

    Kmart is a direct descendant of the S.S. Kresge Company, started in 1899, one of the first of what came to be known as the "five and dime" stores. Facing competitive difficulties in the 1960's, Kresge stores opened the first Kmart discount department store in 1962 in Garden City, Mich. For a time, Kmart was considered an innovative retail phenomenon with its big box stores on a single floor with vast rows of moderately priced merchandise....

    ....Sears has been failing for nearly four years, to the extent that investors were considering dismantling it for the underlying value of Sears real estate....

    ....Kmart emerged from bankruptcy in May 2003 after a damaging move into specialty retailing. Kmart reported profit of $155 million in the fiscal second quarter after holding fewer clearance sales and closing stores, according to the Bloomberg news service. It was Kmart's third straight profit following 11 consecutive quarters of losses. Same-store sales have fallen 12 straight quarters.
It's incredible that two 19th-century retail companies have to merge in order to preserve themselves against the onslaught of WalMart and Target.

No indication whether or not the stores will operate seperately.





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JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.66
Dang, I had no idea Sears was suffering so badly. I love that place, what with their hardware section AND their Kidvantage deal where you can get a ton of Christmas gifts for the kiddies on the cheap. (and their photo department is usually pretty good)



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Since: 16.4.02
From: Green Bay, WI

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.25
Catch The Thrill on "Pick of the Week": taped Tuesdays at Planet Magic in Denmark, WI; on the air Sundays @ 1 am on WB-14!

Does this mean we'll finally get the S-Mart that Ash from Army of Darkness worked at?

(brandishing shotgun) "Shop smart...shop S-Mart. YA GOT THAT!?!?"



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Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1269 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by The Thrill
    Does this mean we'll finally get the S-Mart that Ash from Army of Darkness worked at?

    (brandishing shotgun)


Awesome...

(edited by Guru Zim on 17.11.04 1258)


Oliver
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Since: 20.6.02
From: #YEG

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.84
    Originally posted by JayJayDean
    Dang, I had no idea Sears was suffering so badly. I love that place, what with their hardware section AND their Kidvantage deal where you can get a ton of Christmas gifts for the kiddies on the cheap. (and their photo department is usually pretty good)
Will this lead to the re-introduction of K-Mart here in Canada? I've missed them.



"Marvelous, I love that record. It grabs me by the crotch and shakes me around until I am not sure if I am a man or a woman. Then I remember I am Fernando Martinez, Mister Fernando Martinez, and this is Mister Mister with Broken Wings." - Fernando Martinez, GTA Vice City's Emotion FM
OMEGA
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Since: 18.6.02
From: North Cacalacky

Since last post: 1941 days
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.72
Man, I knew K-Mart was suffering, as a few stores down here were forced to close last year, but I had no idea that Sears was in bad shape. I, too, love that store. I enjoy going to Sears and staring at their huge plasma-TVs and dreaming that one day I'll be able to afford one..... I live a sad life.

(edited by OMEGA on 17.11.04 1132)


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Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.00
Given Sears' place in the history of American retail and culture, this is epic. Bought. By Kmart. Not that the big, dirty K hasn't come a long way since its stock traded at under $10 in 1998 (thank you, high school stock market project) but for this company, perhaps our most historic retailer, to basically be brought to its knees is fascinating.

I was just thinking last night that I should scour eBay or places similar for older catalogs to see what I could archive. I guess I'm psychic.



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Roy.
Pepperoni








Since: 25.2.04
From: Keystone State

Since last post: 2357 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.41
I guess nobody's going to really notice much, in that both Sears and K-Mart stores are staying the same. Our K-Mart closed down a few years ago, as there is both a Wal-Mart and a Target on the road to where K-Mart used to be, and they just couldn't compete (college students are lazy).

My absolute favorite time of the year was when the Sears Wish Book would come out, and I could pick out all of the toys I wanted for Christmas. That thing was like an encyclopedia of fun.
estragand
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Since: 18.6.02

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
    Originally posted by Roy.
    My absolute favorite time of the year was when the Sears Wish Book would come out, and I could pick out all of the toys I wanted for Christmas. That thing was like an encyclopedia of fun.

No kidding. I remember my folks would toss me that thing and say "here, circle whatcha' want Santa to bring you". I remember freaking out when it included the then-unknown GI Joe BridgeLayer as an exclusive. Or staring for HOURS at their Star Wars page, around 1982, and counting the days until I could get my own Snowspeeder and Walker.

When we were freshmen, my best buddy and locker partner hung up a laminated picture from a 50's Sears ad, featuring kids dressed up in Roy Rogers gear. I was embarassed by it then, but looking back, it was pretty damn funny.



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Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
I hope this is good news for both companies.

There is a really nice Big K in Mission Valley that I shop at about once a month. The store is huge, clean, and has great deals. It's almost always empty.

I'm not sure why the name K-mart became the biggest insult you could throw at someone in my elementary school days, but my wife had the same experience. Maybe the brand is damaged beyond repair. It's too bad, because I prefer K-Mart to Wal-Mart but it seems that I almost always leave K-mart having to make a trip to Wal-Mart to get something that they don't have in stock at the Big K.

The only Sears that I know of is up in La Jolla, which is too far for me to get to easily. Still, I'd love to be able to get Sears stuff in K-mart - the tools especially. I love the "guy" sections of Sears (electronics and tools) and they are much better done than the section in K-mart.



Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
SirBubNorm
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Under the table

Since last post: 3593 days
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.58
It's gotta be all due to the "K-mart sucks" line from Rain Man. 1988 is the year everything started downhill right? :)



It's a dog eat dog world and I'm wearing milkbone undershorts.
Zeruel
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 13 hours
Last activity: 1 hour
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
Sears has been in BIG trouble for years. They were so hard up for cash, their credit card department forced thousands of people who declared bankruptcy to pay their debt, even though it's been washed away.

The courts eventually forced Sears to repay all the monies they weren't even entitled to.

Their KidVantage program can be taken ADVantage of. The Sear's here at least will let one return any baby clothes that have been damaged for a like item. Some people have been passing the baby clothes down from brother to sister then hand them off to cousins.

My best friend used to be a manager at Sears and she said she had to ban a few people from the store for doing that sort of thing, for YEARS.

It is a shame to see two very old compnies have to merge to survive, but their business model just can't compete with the razor thin profit margins of Wal*Mart. Volume, volume, volume at any price.

One thing though. NOTHING beats Craftsman tools. I have never used any other brand, and I hope I don't have to. Lifetime guarentee on their tools and some of the tools my dad bought before I was born are still getting good use around my house.




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too-old-now
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Since: 7.1.04

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.76
I never shopped at Sears until by chance I heard they were carrying Land's End clothing. Since then, we have purchased $$$$.$$ there and counting. We take advantage of the Kidvantage discount, and especially their price adjustment policy. Land's End can be returned whenever, period. But then we can re-buy it, now at clearance prices. Get kids watershoes in May for next year's size, then in December return and re-buy them at 90% off. Same for girls' holiday dresses.

Sears has better electronics and appliances, but too pricey.

For all the crap that Kmart stocks, they also carry the Martha Stewart line of pretty good quality stuff, but its also overpriced.

Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
    Originally posted by too-old-now
    I never shopped at Sears until by chance I heard they were carrying Land's End clothing. Since then, we have purchased $$$$.$$ there and counting. We take advantage of the Kidvantage discount, and especially their price adjustment policy. Land's End can be returned whenever, period. But then we can re-buy it, now at clearance prices. Get kids watershoes in May for next year's size, then in December return and re-buy them at 90% off. Same for girls' holiday dresses.

    Sears has better electronics and appliances, but too pricey.

    For all the crap that Kmart stocks, they also carry the Martha Stewart line of pretty good quality stuff, but its also overpriced.




That doesn't seem unethical to you?



Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
Cerebus
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Since: 17.11.02

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.34
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    I'm not sure why the name K-mart became the biggest insult you could throw at someone in my elementary school days, but my wife had the same experience.


I remember this little diddy from my grade school days.

---

Sung to the tune of Eddie Grant's ELECTRIC AVENUE

...You're mom is go-ing to
K-Mart, to buy you shoes
They only cost a dollar!

---

...Ah! Good times, good times.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: Under the table

Since last post: 3593 days
Last activity: 3542 days
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.58
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
      Originally posted by too-old-now
      I never shopped at Sears until by chance I heard they were carrying Land's End clothing. Since then, we have purchased $$$$.$$ there and counting. We take advantage of the Kidvantage discount, and especially their price adjustment policy. Land's End can be returned whenever, period. But then we can re-buy it, now at clearance prices. Get kids watershoes in May for next year's size, then in December return and re-buy them at 90% off. Same for girls' holiday dresses.

      Sears has better electronics and appliances, but too pricey.

      For all the crap that Kmart stocks, they also carry the Martha Stewart line of pretty good quality stuff, but its also overpriced.




    That doesn't seem unethical to you?


Just out of curiousity which portion of this seems unethical?

Really, I'm asking because I have trouble taking part in these programs because I *know* my kids are going to get holes in their knees. It's what kids do. So I feel like it's my responsibility and I wouldn't utilize the program anyways.

On the flip side, in this case, it sounds like he's keeping the same clothes. (And I'm guessing he would probably buy a size larger without their policy in place, I know I've done it before with my kids (especially coats)) The stores have a price adjustment policy to encourage you to buy now and buy from them, right as opposed to going to a different store? So as long as you aren't misrepresenting what you're doing with the clothes (ie handing them down and representing that they are that child's originally), should it be looked at as unethical?





It's a dog eat dog world and I'm wearing milkbone undershorts.
too-old-now
Bockwurst








Since: 7.1.04

Since last post: 1299 days
Last activity: 224 days
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.75
It's not unethical to me because I am buying in sizes bigger than the kids currently need, and I am leaving all of the tags on them, they are brand new, unworn, they have been stored in plastic storage containers in the closet, etc. so they can be resold.

It's just planning ahead. Why should we pay $50 for a girl's holiday dress and buy it 3 weeks before Xmas, that they will wear maybe 3 times? Instead, we buy next year's size in December for maybe $30, and return it in May or June, for our full $30 back. Then, we will re-buy it in June for the clearance price of $4.99.

If, I mean when, my daughter tears or stains a dress we paid $5 for then I don't feel as bad as I would if I had spent $50 for it.

Sure, it requires organization and keeping all of the receipts. I don't think of it as unethical at all - it often takes a lot of time - but kids are pretty predictable about what size shoes, bathing suits, sweaters, snowsuits, boots, mittens, etc. they will be wearing the next couple of years.

As you can tell, I don't really care that my kids wear last year's (or 2-3 years ago) fashions.

One more comment/rationalization on integrity - one dress I returned in June I had paid $30 originally for in December. The salesclerk rang the return incorrectly and creditted me the original price of $50, then recharged it for $4.99. It would have been unethical for me to keep the extra $20, and I explained the problem to the clerk and her manager It took me an extra 35 minutes to get it all straightened out, but I didn't want to get a salesclerk in trouble for a shortage, etc.

Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 9 days
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Oh, there is no doubt that it requires effort. I didn't mean to say that it sounded easy. I was just saying that it sounds to me like you are taking advantage of their policy.

Ultimately though, I'm just a guy on a message board, you've got to feed your family so I'm not trying to pass judgement.

My long explanation would go into the opportunity cost that is lost by not having the item available during the time in which it would be most likely to sell.



Willful ignorance of science is not commendable. Refusing to learn the difference between a credible source and a shill is criminally stupid.
snk
Braunschweiger








Since: 9.1.02
From: Las Vegas, NV

Since last post: 1786 days
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.67
As someone who works in retail, you are working the system. Yes, it is legitimate and you can fool yourself all you want, but it isn't ethical. You are taking advantage of the program to benefit yourself. Everyone wonders why service is becoming so scarce in retail. Its because of people like this. We have to make up the money lost someway. They easiest way is by cutting payroll.
EddieBurkett
Boudin blanc








Since: 3.1.02
From: GA in person, NJ in heart

Since last post: 5 days
Last activity: 3 min.
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.13
    Originally posted by snk
    We have to make up the money lost someway. They easiest way is by cutting payroll.


Which is easily done by merging with a competitor.

(edited by EddieBurkett on 22.11.04 2330)


You're gonna carry that weight...
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