ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Passing of Another American Icon - Sears

Updated on October 10, 2018
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is retired. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 120,000 views.


Sears Roebuck and Co. is shutting its doors for ever. It was an American institution for over 100 years. Founded in 1886, it has grown to over 500 locations across America. Like Kodak before it, another giant in the industry is closing for good. How did it come to this? A sad state for our malls.

- Oct. 2018


Across America, in almost every major shopping malls, there is a Sears store as one of its anchor. Over its long history, it was a catalog company before it became a department store. It was the Amazon of its hay day. People living in remote areas of our country would do their shopping using the catalog and have the products shipped to their home. It is exactly what Amazon does today except instead of a paper catalog, people use the web and the internet.

Sears had a reputation for quality. The Sears craftsman tools were the gold standard of tools. A tool would be warrantied for life. That was how good it is. In addition, they had an extensive parts catalog for spare parts and repairs. Instead of throwing something out, we used to fix things. It was more economical and better for the enviroment. This was before the consumer society took off where now we made most things disposable.

By any logic, Sears should have been the Amazon of today. They had the size, the scope, the products, the foot print and the shipping expertise. Yet, they missed out on this new paradigm shift.

The parallel between Sears and Kodak cannot be overlooked. Both were giants in their industry. Both were successful and profitable for their shareholders. Both were dominant at one time. Both were known for quality. Yet, both suffered the same fate.

Why Is This Happening?

To a great extent, the management of the company did not move with the changing times. It was no surprise. These changes have been going on for 30 years. Little by little, the online shopping experience has replaced the shopping malls. Especially with the younger demographics, they are just more comfortable shopping online.

The genius of Jeff Bezos was to create a “free shipping“ option with Amazon Prime. It made the higher cost of shopping online disappear. Along with the easy return policy, it created a better shopping experience.

For some shoppers like me, I was almost forced into it. There were some items I wanted to buy that are not available in stores. I was forced to go online to get the items I wanted.

The Dying Malls

America consumers are changing. The internet has brought about that change. A family used to do most of their shoping in local malls. Teenager used o meet up at malls to go to the movies and hang out. That is no longer the case. With the high speed connection, and wifi, people are streaming their videos to their home TV and smart phones.

These malls are a dying breed. Some people have repurposed the mall to be a local community center. Retirees can go their to play cards and chess with their friends. Local talent can perform their talent on stages in the mall. Some people are using the mall as exercise paths especially in the winter months. These are some good way to preserve these malls.


I am a dinosaur in a new modern world. Even though I have no problem with technology, I prefer to use paper and talk to people and socialize in person rather than on social media.

I still enjoy shopping in stores where I can touch and feel the products I am buying. I can try on the shoes and the cloth to see if they fit.

It is interesting to me that Amazon has started opening stores around the country. It has come full circle. Why didn’t the executives at Sears follow this new model?

© 2018 Jack Lee


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)