Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Predicting the demise of Sears & Kmart since 2017!
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by storewanderer »

Lowe's policy on the tools is "if they have the product they will warranty it."
https://www.thedenverchannel.com/money/ ... arranties1
I think the part numbers are different between the Sears items and the Lowes items.

Given the low levels of inventory at Sears the past couple years, I doubt they were able to do much with warranty replacements either...

Plus a lot of other places sell this brand now- Ace, Napa, etc. I wonder if every retailer has different part numbers...

I think part of the benefit for the old Sears exchange was Sears knew any time the customer came to the store, was a potential to sell them something else. That person had already spent money at Sears, likely quite a bit of money, and replacing a low cost tool was just a way to keep a connection going and build confidence in Sears. Now if the wrench I bought in 1995 at Sears breaks and I go to Ace and try to replace it in 2021, what good does it do Ace? I never shop there under normal circumstances, I didn't buy anything else when I went in to do the exchange...

One of the most screwy things I saw Sears do was pull the Craftsman tool line from certain Sears dealer stores that were in "close proximity" to a Kmart. Tools were the closest thing to a consumable (to drive traffic) that a Sears Dealer was allowed to carry.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by retailfanmitchell019 »

Kmart in Grass Valley closes its doors tomorrow: https://www.theunion.com/news/grass-val ... se-sunday/
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by Super S »

storewanderer wrote: December 18th, 2021, 12:48 am Lowe's policy on the tools is "if they have the product they will warranty it."
https://www.thedenverchannel.com/money/ ... arranties1
I think the part numbers are different between the Sears items and the Lowes items.

Given the low levels of inventory at Sears the past couple years, I doubt they were able to do much with warranty replacements either...

Plus a lot of other places sell this brand now- Ace, Napa, etc. I wonder if every retailer has different part numbers...

I think part of the benefit for the old Sears exchange was Sears knew any time the customer came to the store, was a potential to sell them something else. That person had already spent money at Sears, likely quite a bit of money, and replacing a low cost tool was just a way to keep a connection going and build confidence in Sears. Now if the wrench I bought in 1995 at Sears breaks and I go to Ace and try to replace it in 2021, what good does it do Ace? I never shop there under normal circumstances, I didn't buy anything else when I went in to do the exchange...

One of the most screwy things I saw Sears do was pull the Craftsman tool line from certain Sears dealer stores that were in "close proximity" to a Kmart. Tools were the closest thing to a consumable (to drive traffic) that a Sears Dealer was allowed to carry.
For the most part, the Craftsman tools at Lowe's have a different appearance and feel from the items they offered at Sears, and have shifted to more imported products. There are some exceptions such as screwdrivers. But one notable difference is that Sears (when they were still doing well) had employees in the department that offered to help find your replacements. At Lowe's you are lucky if you actually find an employee in the tool department much of the time and are on your own to figure out what will be used as a replacement. Not long ago I wanted to warranty a socket but saw that the line at the service desk was backed up... I gave up and purchased a replacement elsewhere in another brand. The old socket was U.S. made, the replacement would have been imported. The value that Craftsman has represented has been tarnished a little. And with other brands competing for space there are some categories where a Lowe's might not have a direct replacement in stock.

As for Ace, Napa, and others, they carry their own tool lines and selection varies from one location to the next.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by storewanderer »

retailfanmitchell019 wrote: December 18th, 2021, 11:46 pm Kmart in Grass Valley closes its doors tomorrow: https://www.theunion.com/news/grass-val ... se-sunday/
Yes, the store was largely empty on Saturday. Some clothes left, little else. They worked very hard to take the store apart and ship the shelves out. Some fixtures were sold but basically all of the shelves were just disassembled and put onto pallets marked to return to SHC Return Center.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by SamSpade »

Wow, these leases!
...40 years out of its 75-year lease at that point. The remaining 35 years, plus an additional 20 years, would be assigned to Target, he said.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by ClownLoach »

SamSpade wrote: December 20th, 2021, 11:07 am Wow, these leases!
...40 years out of its 75-year lease at that point. The remaining 35 years, plus an additional 20 years, would be assigned to Target, he said.
That's really odd that it would be so long. Nobody issues a 75 year lease... Unless Crazy Eddie Lampert had bought the building and leased it back with insane terms to enrich himself... Which is probably the case.

Big boxes are usually still only 20 years, have a costly opt out at about 10 years, 5 or 10 year renewal terms after the 20 year mark, and finally guarantee about 40 years of total term.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by ClownLoach »

storewanderer wrote: December 19th, 2021, 10:50 pm
retailfanmitchell019 wrote: December 18th, 2021, 11:46 pm Kmart in Grass Valley closes its doors tomorrow: https://www.theunion.com/news/grass-val ... se-sunday/
Yes, the store was largely empty on Saturday. Some clothes left, little else. They worked very hard to take the store apart and ship the shelves out. Some fixtures were sold but basically all of the shelves were just disassembled and put onto pallets marked to return to SHC Return Center.
I'm going to guess that Crazy Eddie Lampert has already sold every single shelf and peg hook in the stores to a liquidator in an "advance directive" for the pending death of the company. Nobody else sends this stuff back. Many times the landlord gets stuck breaking it down and disposing of what the in store liquidator couldn't sell as they usually just leave everything but unsold merchandise. And I can't imagine who would want old, beat up, outdated junky Kmart gondolas. Heck maybe they sold them all and are leasing them back, just like their buildings...
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by storewanderer »

ClownLoach wrote: December 20th, 2021, 5:35 pm

I'm going to guess that Crazy Eddie Lampert has already sold every single shelf and peg hook in the stores to a liquidator in an "advance directive" for the pending death of the company. Nobody else sends this stuff back. Many times the landlord gets stuck breaking it down and disposing of what the in store liquidator couldn't sell as they usually just leave everything but unsold merchandise. And I can't imagine who would want old, beat up, outdated junky Kmart gondolas. Heck maybe they sold them all and are leasing them back, just like their buildings...
To be fair, this Grass Valley Kmart was pretty maintained. The shelves were not in bad shape at all, any grocer who uses the same color shelves could cycle them into their mixture of shelves and they would fit fine.

When the Super Kmart closed in Reno, I guess 12 years ago now, all unsold fixtures were moved to a front corner of the store and it is unknown what happened to those fixtures when the store was locked up for good. They kept doing fixture sales there for a few days after the store closed.

The South Lake Tahoe Kmart that closed in August is 100% clear of fixtures, but Kmart did leave a truck out back (old 80's logo, says thanks for making us America's Favorite Store) that they must have forgotten about. The shelves and fixtures in that place were complete junk. Terrible condition.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by storewanderer »

ClownLoach wrote: December 20th, 2021, 5:33 pm
SamSpade wrote: December 20th, 2021, 11:07 am Wow, these leases!
...40 years out of its 75-year lease at that point. The remaining 35 years, plus an additional 20 years, would be assigned to Target, he said.
That's really odd that it would be so long. Nobody issues a 75 year lease... Unless Crazy Eddie Lampert had bought the building and leased it back with insane terms to enrich himself... Which is probably the case.

Big boxes are usually still only 20 years, have a costly opt out at about 10 years, 5 or 10 year renewal terms after the 20 year mark, and finally guarantee about 40 years of total term.
Kmart had many 50 year leases and some 75 and 100 year leases. Back in the 70's it seems like there were a lot of landlords willing to write Kmart extremely long term leases. I think these leases are part of what has drawn things out on the closure of the chain for so long.

It is the same reason why you saw Kmart close many of the newer 90's stores but keep the old 70's stores in the bankruptcy. The newer stores had newer/more standard leases. They happily rejected those in the first bankruptcy (at which point they signed the long term death certificate for the chain). Those 50-100 year leases Kmart signed in the 70's were an asset that got significantly undervalued in the bankruptcy and monetizing those leases is a big part of what Eddie has been doing for the past 20 years.

On the Sears side is has been more raiding the old owned real estate and monetizing it.
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Re: Is 2021 finally the end for Sears/Kmart?

Post by BillyGr »

ClownLoach wrote: December 20th, 2021, 5:35 pm I'm going to guess that Crazy Eddie Lampert has already sold every single shelf and peg hook in the stores to a liquidator in an "advance directive" for the pending death of the company. Nobody else sends this stuff back. Many times the landlord gets stuck breaking it down and disposing of what the in store liquidator couldn't sell as they usually just leave everything but unsold merchandise. And I can't imagine who would want old, beat up, outdated junky Kmart gondolas. Heck maybe they sold them all and are leasing them back, just like their buildings...
I'm sure there is always someone who will find a use for them, be it small stores that just need stuff and are trying to get it at the lowest cost, or even people who would buy them (if sold cheaply enough) to have as shelving in a garage, workshop or basement at a lower cost (and even if old, likely better quality) than what is normally sold for home use.
storewanderer wrote: December 20th, 2021, 7:35 pm Kmart had many 50 year leases and some 75 and 100 year leases. Back in the 70's it seems like there were a lot of landlords willing to write Kmart extremely long term leases. I think these leases are part of what has drawn things out on the closure of the chain for so long.

It is the same reason why you saw Kmart close many of the newer 90's stores but keep the old 70's stores in the bankruptcy. The newer stores had newer/more standard leases. They happily rejected those in the first bankruptcy (at which point they signed the long term death certificate for the chain). Those 50-100 year leases Kmart signed in the 70's were an asset that got significantly undervalued in the bankruptcy and monetizing those leases is a big part of what Eddie has been doing for the past 20 years.

On the Sears side is has been more raiding the old owned real estate and monetizing it.
I guess it makes sense - you had a chain (back then) that was doing well, and seemed to be continuously expanding. So, why not offer them something that would keep them in your building for as long as they wanted to stay there? Less work for you then having to worry about finding new tenants after a few years.

Likely also a reason that so many stores ran as long as they did - with those older leases with low overall costs, they didn't have to make nearly as many sales to be profitable as most chains that had far more newer stores that were more costly just to open each day.

Obviously in many cases it didn't help them when those old stores were stuck (many times) in areas that others had left, making them not as likely to get customers who were headed to the "new" shopping section in a given area (though possibly in some spots they did get the benefit of being easy to get to for those still living in the areas they were in.
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