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What Recovery? Sears And J.C. Penney Are Dying

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

Two of the largest retailers in America are steamrolling toward bankruptcy.  Sears and J.C. Penney are both losing hundreds of millions of dollars each quarter, and both of them appear to be caught in the grip of a death spiral from which it will be impossible to escape.  Once upon a time, Sears was actually the largest retailer in the United States, and even today Sears and J.C. Penney are "anchor stores" in malls all over the country. 

When I was growing up, my mother would take me to the mall when it was time to go clothes shopping, and there were usually just two options: Sears or J.C. Penney.  When I got older, I actually worked for Sears for a little while.  At the time, nobody would have ever imagined that Sears or J.C. Penney could go out of business someday.  But that is precisely what is happening.  They are both shutting down unprofitable stores and laying off employees in a desperate attempt to avoid bankruptcy, but everyone knows that they are just delaying the inevitable.  These two great retail giants are dying, and they certainly won't be the last to fall.  This is just the beginning.

The Death Of Sears

Sales have declined at Sears for 27 quarters in a row, and the legendary retailer has been closing hundreds of stores and selling off property in a frantic attempt to turn things around.

Unfortunately for Sears, it is not working.  In fact, Sears has announced that it expects to lose "between $250 million to $360 million" for the quarter that will end on February 1st.

Things have gotten so bad that Sears is even making commercials that openly acknowledge how badly it is struggling.  For example, consider the following bit of dialogue from a recent Sears television commercial featuring two young women...

"Wait, the movie theater is on the other side," the passenger says.


"But Sears always has parking!" the driver responds.

Sears always has parking???

Of course the unspoken admission is that Sears always has parking because nobody shops there anymore.

I have posted video of the commercial below...


A couple of months ago I walked into a Sears store in the middle of the week and it was like a ghost town.  A few associates were milling around here and there having private discussions among themselves, but other than that it was eerily quiet.

You can find 18 incredibly depressing photographs which do a great job of illustrating why Sears is steadily dying right here.  This was once one of America's greatest companies, but soon it will be dead.

The Death Of J.C. Penney

J.C. Penny has been a dead man walking for a long time.  In some ways, it is in even worse shape than Sears.

If you can believe it, J.C. Penney actually lost 586 million dollars during the second quarter of 2013 alone.

How in the world do you lose 586 million dollars in three months?

Are they paying employees to flush giant piles of cash down the toilets?

This week J.C. Penney announced that it is eliminating 2,000 jobs and closing 33 stores.  The following is a list of the store closings that was released to the public...

Selma, Ala. -- Selma Mall

Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. -- Arrow Plaza

Colorado Springs -- Chapel Hills Mall

Meriden, Conn. -- Meriden Square

Leesburg, Fla. -- Lake Square Mall

Port Richey, Fla. -- Gulf View Square

Muscatine, Iowa -- Muscatine Mall

Bloomingdale, Ill. -- Stratford Square Mall

Forsyth, Ill. -- Hickory Point Mall

Marion, Ind. -- Five Points Mall

Warsaw, Ind. -- Marketplace Shopping Center

Salisbury, Md. -- The Centre at Salisbury

Marquette, Mich. -- Westwood Plaza

Worthington, Minn. -- Northland Mall

Gautier, Miss. -- Singing River Mall

Natchez, Miss. -- Natchez Mall

Butte, Mont. -- Butte Plaza Shopping Center

Cut Bank, Mont.

Kinston, N.C. -- Vernon Park Mall

Burlington, N.J. -- Burlington Center

Phillipsburg, N.J. -- Phillipsburg Mall

Wooster, Ohio -- Wayne Towne Plaza

Exton, Pa. -- Exton Square Mall

Hazleton, Pa. -- LaurelMall

Washington, Pa. -- Washington Mall

Chattanooga -- Northgate Mall

Bristol, Va. -- Bristol Mall

Norfolk, Va. -- Military Circle Mall

Fond du Lac, Wis., Forest Mall

Janesville, Wis. -- Janesville Mall

Rhinelander, Wis. -- Lincoln Plaza Center

Rice Lake, Wis. -- Cedar Mall

Wausau, Wis. -- Wausau Mall

The CEO of J.C. Penney says that these closures were necessary for the future of the company...

"As we continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth, it is necessary to reexamine the financial performance of our store portfolio and adjust our national footprint accordingly," CEO Myron Ullman said in a news release.

Actually, his statement would be a lot more accurate if he replaced "continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth" with " prepare for bankruptcy".

It would be hard to overstate how much of a disaster 2013 was for J.C. Penney.  The following is an excerpt from a recent CNN article...

It's been a brutal year for J.C. Penney, its stock falling over 60% in the past 12 months. The company has been losing hundreds of millions of dollars per quarter, and is in the midst of another turnaround effort after ousting former Apple executive Ron Johnson last year.

Overall, shares of J.C. Penney have fallen by an astounding 84 percent since February 2012.  And keep in mind that this decline has happened during one of the greatest stock market rallies of all-time.

For now, J.C. Penney will continue to try to desperately raise more cash from investors that are foolish enough to give it to them, but all that is really accomplishing is just delaying the inevitable.

If you would like to see some photos that graphically illustrate why J.C. Penney is falling apart, you can find some right here.

And of course Sears and J.C. Penney are not the only large retailers that have fallen on hard times.  This week the CEO of Best Buy admitted that sales declined at his chain during the holiday season...

Best Buy shares skid on Thursday after the retailer said total revenue and sales at its established U.S stores fell in the all-important holiday season due to intense discounting by rivals, supply constraints for key products and weak traffic in December.

In the immediate aftermath of that announcement, Best Buy stock was down more than 30 percent in pre-market trading.

And Macy's just announced that it is laying off 2,500 employees in an attempt to move in a more profitable direction.

So why is all of this happening?

Aren't we supposed to be in the midst of an "economic recovery"?

That is what the Obama administration and the mainstream media keep telling us, but it is simply not true.

In fact, a new Gallup survey has found that the number of Americans that are "financially worse off" than a year ago is significantly higher than the number of Americans that say that they are "financially better off" than a year ago...

More Americans, 42%, say they are financially worse off now than they were a year ago, reversing the lower levels found over the past two years. Just more than a third of Americans say their financial situation has improved from a year ago.

That is why these stores are dying.

Things continue to get even worse for the middle class.

But a lot of people out there will continue to deny what is happening right in front of their eyes.  They are kind of like that woman over in California who was conned out of half a million dollars by a Nigerian online dating scam.  They will never admit the truth until it is far too late to do anything about it.

So have you been to a Sears or a J.C. Penney lately?


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Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:03 | 4349936 resurger
resurger's picture

am not sad.. fuck them

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:13 | 4349965 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

It is a sad day when yesterday's giants pass away. They will probably be forced to restructure, chapter 11. Funny thing is, I have a pending work contract with Sears locally through a service contractor. Since reading all the bad news at ZH I will likely tell them why I will not be going ahead with the work. Just reading this makes me think I might have saved myself several hundred dollars if I had taken the job. ((shiver))

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:19 | 4349985 CrazyCooter
CrazyCooter's picture

What if we have a hedge fund, say somebody like Bill Ackman, announce a huge short position in JCP (e.g. maybe circulate a huge slide deck at some investor conference or something). Then, he could lure in a big wall street ego, (Carl Ichan?) to slam the stock higher through productive, shareholder activism?

JCP saved!

Man, that was easy. I should have gone to school for central planning instead of engineering.



Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:24 | 4350004 Gankfest
Gankfest's picture

More Failism brought to you by Socialism...

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:51 | 4350087 Richard Chesler
Richard Chesler's picture

Perhaps selling chinese crap is not the best business model after all...

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:37 | 4350277 Ward no. 6
Ward no. 6's picture

well it is pretty hard not to find chinese crap no matter where you shop unless you go out of your way to buy from companies that offer "stuff" from France, Germany etc. I sometimes shop at Williams Sonoma so that I can get something from Germany or France.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:58 | 4350342 BC6
BC6's picture

Anyone remember Woolworth's or Gemco? As a kid, I used to enjoy getting an Orange Julius from Woolworth's. 

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 00:54 | 4350624 Northern Lights
Northern Lights's picture

I do remember Woolworth's.  Back in the 70's when I was something like 6-7 years old.

I recall my mom was shopping for something in there and in the back they had their own diner/restaurant.  My mom bought me a hotdog in that diner.

My only memory of that place, but I remember that hotdog. LOL


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 03:22 | 4350820 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Target has better clothing quality than Sears of JC Penney.


They are like Detroit who experienced decreasing house values during the housing boom.





Tue, 01/21/2014 - 06:50 | 4351002 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Must not have gotten my message about the new lonelist man in town, now it's Sears auto mechanic, and we only have one door open now, if there is a car in there it's usually a worker doing something from hitting a pot hole or cleaning the inside of his engine with starter fluid.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 01:11 | 4350652 JohnnyBriefcase
JohnnyBriefcase's picture

Ames. Caldor. Bradlees. Lechmere.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 03:13 | 4350811 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Montgomery Ward, May D&F...

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 05:05 | 4350912 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Oh that brings back memories.  I don't think I have an Orange Julius since then.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 00:50 | 4350613 Northern Lights
Northern Lights's picture

I remember a time in the early to mid 80's when I'd go toy shoping with my mom as a little kid.  She'd ask me what I wanted for my birthday.  I'd show it to her.  If it said "Made in USA", she'd purchase it for me.  If it said "Made in Taiwan", she'd say "Pick something else". LOL

The point is, in the 80's you still could find stuff made in the USA and could avoid purchasing the Chinese shit.

Today, that option no longer exists.

The best toy trucks I EVER had as a young kid were the one's made by Tonka.  90% of the toy was made of solid metal.  Hell, if you left it out in the rain, it would rust.  The axles holding the wheels were steel rods, and the wheels themselves were either plastic or rubber.  I remember owning a dump truck and two backhoe/frontloader combo vehicles.  I used to get the skin on my hands and fingers pinched in the frontloader lever-contraption.  Sometimes it would draw blood.  Didn't matter, you could pound on those toys to no end and you couldn't wreck them unless your dad drove over them with the family station wagon cause you left it in the driveway again.

A few years back I purchased a Tonka dumptruck for my nephew.  The only thing metal on it was the dump-bucket which was more tin than metal.  Rest of the toy including the truck chassis was plastic.

Now everythings made in China.


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 05:05 | 4350911 -NaN-
-NaN-'s picture

When I was a kid, if it was imported, even from China, an "import" was synonymous with expensive, and we bought American goods because they were cheaper.    During dinner parties, my granparents would make a big deal to serve food on their "China". That is all changed now. Today we eat on our China every meal, every day.  Oma and Opa would be proud of our success /sarc.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 12:43 | 4351768 Overfed
Overfed's picture

When I was in first grade, my class went on a field trip to the Tonka factory. It was pretty neat, and I still have the little red Tonka van that I got on the trip. That was in the late 70s, I think they closed the factory for good in the early 90s or late 80s. :-(

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:39 | 4350282 BC6
BC6's picture

I picked up some of those $1.97 shorts after summer turned to fall. I received compliments both from friends and family wearing the JCP clearance shorts.

I  never understood how they can sell some of their clearance items so low either, LOL.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 06:24 | 4350977 Acet
Acet's picture

Directly at the producer, any kind of basic clothing is stupendously cheap to buy.

In once had a chat with a guy who owned a company here in the UK which imported plain t-shirts into the UK, then stamped them with the design of choice of the client and sold it to the client (typical big surface clothes chains like M&S, equivalent to Sears and JCPenny).

He told me that each t-shirt cost him about 28 pence (46 cent) after all shipping costs and taxes. After stamping they would be sold to clients for about 49 pence (81 cents). The typical store price would be something around £2.50 - £3.50 ($4.11 - $5.75).

In the US (which doesn't have the 20% VAT which is included in all the amounts I quoted above), I'm pretty certain those $1.97 shorts are still being sold far above cost.


PS: If you look at the numbers above, it becomes clear that the store chains which are big enough to have own brand products (and the brands) make tons of profit out of cheap clothing manufactured abroad. This means that they have a huge incentive to import cheap stuff, put their label in it and sell it with a fat margin and is why nowadays it's damn near impossible to find locally manufactured goods.

Of course, the other side of the coin and what you are seeing unfolding now is that customers eventually wise up to the scam and either demand prices which are closer to cost or demand quality which is closer to the price they pay. This is probably why Sears and JCPenny are getting more squeeze than the lowest-end and the high-end chains.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:50 | 4351617 RKDS
RKDS's picture



PS: If you look at the numbers above, it becomes clear that the store chains which are big enough to have own brand products (and the brands) make tons of profit out of cheap clothing manufactured abroad. This means that they have a huge incentive to import cheap stuff, put their label in it and sell it with a fat margin and is why nowadays it's damn near impossible to find locally manufactured goods.

Of course, the other side of the coin and what you are seeing unfolding now is that customers eventually wise up to the scam and either demand prices which are closer to cost or demand quality which is closer to the price they pay. This is probably why Sears and JCPenny are getting more squeeze than the lowest-end and the high-end chains.

This times a million.  It's a practically vertical climb to get big enough to produce a product but when you finally do it's a gravy train that's almost impossible to derail.  And yet somehow they're managing to do just that.


Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:28 | 4350457 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Lets see,  The retailers switched to buying all Asian made crap.  Then all their customers lost their jobs.  Now they are going broke.  Fuck Congress.


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 03:54 | 4350863 PT
PT's picture

I'm still wondering, how long till they work it out?  Do they care?  The average yob in the street buys foreign made goods because they are cheaper (and later on because he can't find anything else to buy), then wonders why he loses his job - he was pretty powerless anyway.  But JCP, Sears et al, they lose multi-million dollar empires ... and they just let it go????  Without a fight???  Lemme guess, they buy puts in their own company and when it all crashes, they start an equivalent shopping chain in China or India?  I really thought the revolution would start with the retailers because they have the "most" wealth and power, and have the most to lose when the middle class dies.

A message to those retailers out there:  If the US consumer is fucked then YOU are next!  

Never mind, just get yourself a good HFT algo.  Who needs revenue when you can have artificially jacked up share prices? 

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 06:29 | 4350986 Acet
Acet's picture

Look at the style of top level management in publicly traded companies or in fact the way the financial markets are working:

- Quick profits and damn the consequences are all the rage, long-term planning is out of fashion.


So yeah, nobody gave a shit about what would happen long-term if all the jobs were outsourced, in fact they don't even give a damn about what happens mid-term when you fire all the knowledgeable employees and hire the cheapest, dumbest people on short-term contracts (and customer service collapses to "absolute shit" level).


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 04:27 | 4350892 TheRideNeverEnds
TheRideNeverEnds's picture

their downfall was not accepting EBT.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 09:52 | 4351301 hankwil74
hankwil74's picture

Yeah, WalMart and Target are getting killed selling cheap Chinese crap.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:59 | 4350108 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

paw-paw's 12-yr-old craftsman router stopped working

so last weekend he finally took the thing apart. spread out on the kitchen table.

all the wires seemed ok

he thought maybe the brushes looked worn down from use

I helped him search "online" using the "inter-net-work" to source replacement brushes at five bucks.

he wasn't interested.

he filed down the back of the plastic doohicky where the cable is seated (the cable that attaches through the spring to the back of the brush)

plugged her into the outlet and she fired right up again

then he told me to see if I could put her back together again


old people!

some of them would prefer to repair or make do, rather than buy new stuff at the store (or online)


Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:27 | 4350234 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

eventually you got to change those brushes. The metal they are mounted on or the springs that hold them in place will begin to wear on the rotor when the brushes are too thin. Once that happens the rotor is shot and so is the motor. Might as well replace the brushes while you got it apart and oil the bearings on the shafts and your good to go for another 5-10 years.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:43 | 4350294 mjcOH1
mjcOH1's picture

I don't think this qualifies as sudden economic change:


Woolworth, Woolco, Montgomery-Ward, Ames, Circuit City, Bradlees, Anderson-Little, Zayre, Filenes, G Fox, Jordan Marsh, Kaufmann's, May Co, Marshal Field's, Lazarus, Rich's..... the beat goes on.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 09:46 | 4351271 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

Service Merchandise

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 09:48 | 4351278 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

I was sad when all the Warner Brother's stores disappeared when gay ol'Disney bought them out. Jerks

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 09:53 | 4351302 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

Furrow's was a ladder step in between the mega home improvement stores and the mom and pop stores. They competed with the Sears of yester year that still sold tools and shit instead of clothes and shit. I still remember the one off of Alief Clodine rd in Houston before the (people who destroy things rather than build) took over that part of town.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:54 | 4350329 klockwerks
klockwerks's picture

Safely, I'm one of those "old people" and it is far more fun to see if you can get another life out of a product made 30 years ago and made in the USA instead of China. It's an old thing as we were taught by our Paw-Paw, who went through the depression, never to throw anything away and how to make do with very little. I have stuff in my man cave that was passed on from my father and a lot of it is now 50-60 years old and it still works better than anything you could buy today. Besides, when you keep something like that or repair something, it's like sticking to the man and that is a GREAT feeling.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:09 | 4351504 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

yep. And youtube will show you how to do almost any repair.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:56 | 4350110 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture


What if we have a hedge fund, say somebody like Bill Ackman, announce a huge short position in JCP (e.g. maybe circulate a huge slide deck at some investor conference or something). Then, he could lure in a big wall street ego, (Carl Ichan?) to slam the stock higher through productive, shareholder activism?

JCP saved!

Icahn doesn't rescue companies, he disassembles them for their hidden wealth.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:05 | 4350158 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

How about Eddie Lampert buying up K-Mart's & using both stores as real estate plays. His appendage caught in a wringer with the crash & as usual it's the little people who pay.

Like a dog tick he sucked them dry & got fat. Needs to be smashed between two rocks.

No different than Bain & the rest of these parasites. Play after play the same MO.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 05:52 | 4350935 Dugald
Dugald's picture


Amidst this gloom my LifeLine boat batteries after eight years of daily use are getting sick, new LL's arrive Thursday, they most likely will outlast me...still some good gear in this world.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:04 | 4349943 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I thought Sears was actually a Hedge Fund that used the 'flow' of its retail sales unit to make a killing in the stock market?

/half sarc

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:08 | 4349956 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

There is a good reason for Sears.

If you buy a broken craftsman tool at a yard sale, and take it to Sears, they will give you a new one.

(You didn't hear it from me.) 

Now about those chaps.  We like your posts.  Safety first, young man;)

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:19 | 4349976 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You guys ganged up on me and Mrs. Cog gave me that look. Oh oh. No more putting off the chaps chap.  :)

Already ordered and will be delivered tomorrow....God willing and the snow holds off.

<I refused to wear day glow orange, but we settled on Navy blue.>

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:53 | 4350102 Colonel Klink
Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:40 | 4350281 pods
pods's picture

Jesus Harold Christmas I wish I could unsee that picture.

I thought it was gonna be the Mad Max pic.

Gonna google some of Moochelle's finer shots to wash my eyes out.



Tue, 01/21/2014 - 00:59 | 4350636 Omegaman2211
Omegaman2211's picture

Who the hell here would tell you she's off limits? Get a grip.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 09:22 | 4351174 DanDaley
DanDaley's picture

When your self-appointed job is to destroy a country, you can wear what you want.


At my wife's school the other day they served cheeze sticks, carrot sticks, and apple sauce (milk too, of course) -NO meat of any kind. Thanks, Michelle. 

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 13:15 | 4351874 fedupwhiteguy
fedupwhiteguy's picture

omg!! after that horror you'll have to cleanse yourself with an image totally on the otherside of the pendulum arc!!!

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 01:03 | 4350643 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

chaps don't let chaps saw chapless

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:21 | 4349995 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Building and racing cars being my hobby since I was a kid, I can tell you that Craftsman warranty is a lot tougher to exercise than before.  OFFICIALLY it still exists but most sales associates must have been taught to push back on the practice to reduce their warranty claims.  Rusty?  Forget it.  Hammer marks or other signs of "abuse"?  Forget it.  And forget exchanges for new on more complicated things like ratchets- you'll be offered a repair kit or maybe a refurbished unit (which, trust me, is junk in most cases).  Going up the scale, more complicated things like torque wrenches or measuring calipers you can forget the warranty completely.

And if you buy ANYTHING from Sears that has an engine on it, which were never covered by the Craftsman hand tool warranty, you deserve your fate (which will not be pleasant).

That warranty was the last reason I had to keep going to Sears.  The tools were never the equal of a good MAC or SnapOn but the warranty made their purchase much more compelling.  Now it's turned into "meh".  And yeah, there's always plenty of parking as Sears in my area.


Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:27 | 4350015 jim249
jim249's picture

Harbor Freight gave them a run for their money.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:40 | 4350060 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Harbor Freight kicks ass.  Their stuff is so cheap who cares if it breaks?  Throw it in the trash and buy another.  Yeah, it's all Chinese-made crap, but it's half-decent quality Chinese made crap in most cases.  I have a Harbor Freight engine hoist and engine stand in my grarage right now.  

But do I measure bearing clearances and other critical measurements with their mics and calipers?  Hell no.  I have a very old set of Starrett equipment for that work.  All in wooden boxes with linen covers, handed down to me by my Grandfather (a WWII machinist and bombsight tech) for that kind of work.  Why measure to the thousandth when you can measure accurately to the TEN thousandth of an inch.... assuming you know how to use them and what a proper reading "feels" like in your hand while you use them.  And yes, I know how to use them.  I was taught by the best.  A German-born machinist, though he worked for the US during the war.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:20 | 4350211 ghengis86
ghengis86's picture

Meh. I've broken so many cast piece of shit tools from HF that I frequent that store only for certain things. Yeah, it's super cheap, but it gets annoying.

It's a crap shoot. But if you know it going in, not that bad

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:13 | 4350392 dirtscratcher
dirtscratcher's picture

I agree it's a crap shoot, but just like in craps, sometimes you're a winner. A couple of years back I bought a Makita 4" grinder for around $80. Lasted maybe a year, then fried. In a pinch I bought a similar unit at HF for $14, really $14. Worked the living shit out of it for two years before it died, cutting quartzite stone with a diamond blade, and I mean some tough wear and tear. Best $14 I ever spent. I also bought a pneumatic framing nailer there for $80. Other carpenters who spent $300 plus on name brand units razzed the hell outta me, but it's still going strong ten years later. But, alas, some things I got there were junk. Like you said it's a crap shoot.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 13:25 | 4351905 fedupwhiteguy
fedupwhiteguy's picture

My kids tease me about my HF purchases, but they don't realize how long I've been able to use them. I bought a wet tile saw for a dining room project 10 years ago. I bought a carbide tipped saw blade and turned it into my table saw for all the other projects around the home. I never had a HF tool fail on me for the project it was purchased for.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 01:19 | 4350662 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

I've purchased Horrible Freight stuff to complete one single job before and had the tool break before the job was done.  Horrible Freight is hit or miss that way.  If you are a hobby mechanic, then, yeah, sure, their impact sockets will be fine, though I have broken them.  Their pitman arm pullers will get demolished if you have a stubborn pitman arm though.  Their weed burners are awesome though.  Those fuckers will melt someone's face off at 6 to 10 feet. 

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:40 | 4350054 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

That was tongue in cheek, but yeah, they couldn't keep doing that.

Sears was never the cheapest or the best.  It was a middle class safe harbor.  If your bought a fridge from Sears, it wouldn't blow up on you,  or if it did, you get a new one.  The middle class is dying and the decent working class is running for the hills, so why should Sears be safe?

I remember they paid commissions.  A good salesman could support a family working at Sears.  Those were the days.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 01:42 | 4350699 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

Now, I just go to Wal Mart and get Stanley tools. Stanley is pretty good shit with warranty and its dirt cheap at wal mart. In Canada anyway... Not sure about seppo land.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:21 | 4350427 Meatballs
Meatballs's picture

I pounded a 14mm socket to mushroom status and got a new one the other day- no questions asked...maybe I just got the right guy. He was laughing :)


Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:22 | 4350221 mofreedom
mofreedom's picture

And they have the tool for you right in their front drawrers, and no they're not that excited t see you.  I like Craftsman, never had a problem with the electric saws and all.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:36 | 4350481 Dinero D. Profit
Dinero D. Profit's picture

Have you ever noticed that the tool department at Sears has a locker-room odor?


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 00:56 | 4350632 Andre
Andre's picture

Does not apply to electronic tools (router &such) without a receipt.

Had to work in a hardware dept for a while after the divorce. The tales I could thee tell.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:15 | 4349968 brewing
brewing's picture

Sears also owns the albatross that is Kmart...

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:41 | 4350062 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

"two for the price of one." this really is the worst recovery in history. "pay to play."

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 02:19 | 4350755 The Shootist
The Shootist's picture

That explains a lot actually.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:26 | 4350008 Herodotus
Herodotus's picture

It was a great store when old man Sears was still in charge.  But after Rosenwald took over I quit going there. 

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:54 | 4350104 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

They will mutate into a Bitcoin futures trading venue.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 01:08 | 4350648 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

JC BitPenny and Sears & BitBuck

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:06 | 4349948 Occams_Chainsaw
Occams_Chainsaw's picture

I can't think of the last time I actually went into a Sears or JC Penny (k-mart or others).  I shop on line for about 99% of goods that are not food.  These outlets are a dying breed outdone by Amazon and E-bay.  Maybe this is an indicator to invest in FedX and UPS.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:44 | 4350070 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

had to buy a part for a Craftsman Snowblower. "sorry, we don't do service." on their own merchandise?


Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:50 | 4350311 Ward no. 6
Ward no. 6's picture

it is good to at least try and support your local shopping places

I don't care if I have to spend extra money to buy it locally.


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 01:11 | 4350651 andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

Business isn't a charity. If a business depends on donations to stay afloat, (and isn't selling religion) it is headed for the BK pile. It is up to the local business to give you an actual reason to buy locally.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 02:10 | 4350742 Canoe Driver
Canoe Driver's picture

Sounds good, but all decisions to buy cheap foreign goods today amount to arbitrages on labor markets. You save a buck by playing the foreign slave labor market. Later, the realization dawns that the effect is to take the same dollar back out of your own pocket through suppression of local wages. You see, you can buy foreign goods, but you generally have to sell your labor locally.

Actually, the dumping of slave-produced goods should be banned or heavily taxed by legislation, and would be, if politicians had never figured out how to directly profit from it. Put another way, they sold you out, and you helped them do it, for a cheaper gadget and a bunch of $2 underwear.


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 04:03 | 4350873 PT
PT's picture

+infinity Canoe Driver.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 04:22 | 4350888 PT
PT's picture

Sooner or later, you have to realize that the reason your customers can afford to buy your crap is because they were paid US wages in USland, or are you already selling to customers in China, India, Bangladesh and beyond?

In all business, SOMEONE ELSE supplies the rich customers that ensure your success.  When the first few "SOMEONE ELSE"s replace their "expensive, overpaid, local" workers, I mean customers, with "cheaper, foreign" workers, I mean customers, no-one really notices.  A few companies may go bust, at which point they'll blame themselves or the "bad economy".   Later on, there is no more "SOMEONE ELSE" to supply the rich customers.  Where are we now?

But yeah, feel free to source everything as cheap as you possibly can in a last ditch attempt to maintain your crumbling profit margins, all the while proclaiming "There is no better way!"  See you under the bus.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:05 | 4349949 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Nothing Burger.

Companies are always going broke.  Check a list of the Dow Jones companies from the 1950s.  You won't recognize more than a handful of names.

The real question is why we can't shut down government agencies that have always been miserable failures.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:34 | 4350261 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

"The real question is why we can't shut down government agencies that have always been miserable failures."  K street is one of them isn't it.... can we shut it down now?

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 01:46 | 4350705 Spitzer
Spitzer's picture

And remember that the next time some fuckwit tells you that some "index" like the dow beat gold in x number of years. Bullshit. Because index prices never account for the stocks that enter and exit the index.


Take all the companies that comprised the dow in 1950 and compare their collective value today to gold. Thats how you properly compare gold to stocks

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:08 | 4349953 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

You only have to look back about 15 to 20 years ago to see the daggers that killed both companies. Sears pretty much abandoned its dominant catalog business just as Amazon and Internet shopping were born. JC Penney used to sell all kinds of things including carpet, furniture, and appliances, and abandoned that just as Home Depot and Lowes began to boom. Both retailers could have entered those markets but intead opted for cheap Chinese made junk and clothing and bedding. The rest is history.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:15 | 4349966 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture


My Grandmother worked at J.C. Penney for 30 years in their heyday ('54-'84), and she used to say "If you can't find it at Penney's, you don't need it."

That was also back when corporations invested in their employees, so employees had loyalty.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:23 | 4350001 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"That was also back when corporations invested in their employees, so employees had loyalty."


Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:21 | 4349990 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Yes and no Jose.  Your analysis is spot on..., but would you really want to be in retail???

Don't sell books.  Be a librarian. 

Booksellers work their asses off on the holidays.  Librarians get big nig day off.

Booksellers get minimum wage, plus a few nickels if they are good.  Librarians are paid like real people.

Booksellers are temps, hourlies, disposable.  Librarians are tenured.

I could go on, but why?

There are no incentives for real work, and endless incentives for government drones.  This will end badly.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:47 | 4350083 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture these things are actually collectors items today.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:59 | 4350121 rbg81
rbg81's picture

Used to show at JCP for clothes--the one area where they excelled.  Sears just fell part for a number of reasons.  Other specialty stores do what some of their parts do much better--and Walmart captured the low end of their business.  The only reason for going there anymore IS their tools, which are still top notch.

The fact that these companies are failing is part of the continuous cycle of creation and destruction.  It is inevitable and relentless.  The REAL problem is that their successors (Amazon) does what they do with a small fraction of their workforce.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:05 | 4350154 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

I agree with ZH statistics that online biz is but a fraction of the brick and mortar stores business that has been lost. It is not like Amazon is rising while Sears and JCP decline, while the volume of overall business increases. That is not the case at all. Retail is shrinking.

High water mark sometime in the 90s. Water is now receding.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 11:19 | 4351536 Catfish
Catfish's picture

I remember in the '60s going with the parents to the Sears catalog store to pick up shit they bought throught the catalog. Same with JCP. They both seemed to have abandoned the catalog business just in time for the internet... brilliant!

Sears even made pre-fab houses, back in the day. I think I'm living in one now. Two doors down from where I am typing this is one of these:

It was just rented for $3000/mo, which is more than it orginally sold for!

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:15 | 4349969 OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

"Things continue to get worse for the middle class."

The parasite is bloated; the host is collapsing. Stop printing paper, please.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:16 | 4349973 infiniti
infiniti's picture

"That is why these stores are dying."


Uh, they're dying because they're horribly managed and have been for decades, Jesus this is a shitty article.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:16 | 4349974 knicks3005
knicks3005's picture

Nothing lasts forever.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:29 | 4350017 OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

(nothing cannot exist; existence lasts forever.)

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:37 | 4350050 DFCtomm
DFCtomm's picture

Stupid relativism like this is what's wrong with us. I know you were being facetious, but it's still an excellent example. The foundation of Western Civilization has turned to jello. It's elastic and can mean whatever we wish it to mean. Nothing stands on that.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:58 | 4350119 OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

Nah, not being facetious.

I agree with Parmenides or as Aristotle paraphrased him, "There is nothing before that which is always."

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:35 | 4350267 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Well sure, as long as you are only talking about after the beginning and before the end.  Outside of those points, you got nothing.

Or do you?

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:45 | 4350299 JamesBond
JamesBond's picture

“The young are permanently in a state resembling intoxication.”


The Big A

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:12 | 4350381 OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

There are no points to be outside of, are there? If you mean to say that existence is expanding, then what is it expanding in to? ...There was no beginning, there is no end. It just is. Start with that and go from there.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:39 | 4350283 Vendetta
Vendetta's picture

but fiat lives forever

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:13 | 4350398 OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

Ha! Now THAT we know is ending as the effect of its own cause.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:16 | 4349975 knicks3005
knicks3005's picture

Nothing lasts forever.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:17 | 4349977 Big Brother
Big Brother's picture

Sears peaked right before building the Sears (now Willis) Tower.  It's a looong way down.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:17 | 4349978 nightshiftsucks
nightshiftsucks's picture

Way OT,so nightshiftsucks is steamrolling to his own bankruptcy,what a fucked up weekend.Should be getting ready for work but used a vacation day and drinking buds on an empty stomach.So my daughter is going to college in Oregon and we live in the SF Bay Area.So she's driving to school yesterday and was nauseas.She makes it 5 hours out and can't go any farther,wife and I jump in the car and start driving.1 hour away and say's she can't take it anymore and calls 911,nothing serious.The paramedics take her to the ER,not same insurance plan.Please take the poll below.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:13 | 4350189 TuesdayBen
TuesdayBen's picture

She's preggers.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 06:13 | 4350969 nightshiftsucks
nightshiftsucks's picture

HAHA I wish,and the fathers name is Jason.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:30 | 4349981 jim249
jim249's picture

Have not been to the mall in years. I just can't see the Fed not bailing both out. They would be considered "systemic" to the retail industry since both are anchor stores in the big malls. The anchor stores go out of business and there would be a dominoe effect that would wipe out the smaller retailers and the mall owners, being REIT's. Not just in the malls, but also the entire shopping districts that spring up around the malls once built.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:32 | 4350023 thomasincincy
thomasincincy's picture


lol..can't help it

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:38 | 4350278 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Yeah that would pretty much cement the internet as the one and only solution to everything, with a healthy dose of command and control to boot.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 01:03 | 4350644 andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

The better run malls are doing  "redevelopment" and turning into "town centers" complete with apartment towers and office buildings for beltway bandits. Tysons Corner is the perfect example of this. Malls that were behind the curve are simply going under - like the half-empty Landmark.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:18 | 4349982 Duc888
Duc888's picture



We need Shrub to get back on the Tee vee and instruct us to "Just go shopping".



Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:19 | 4349987 nightshiftsucks
nightshiftsucks's picture

  nightshitftsucks pays deductible and all is good

  nightshiftsucks pays $10k+ out of his own pocket


Tue, 01/21/2014 - 05:30 | 4350920 nightshiftsucks
nightshiftsucks's picture

I'm fucked,thanks for the input......The Doc's/nurses at the hospital in Red Bluff were awesome,I don't feel too bad,.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:21 | 4349993 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Wait...doesn't Jim Krammer own Sears stock in his charitable trust? Well, no, I guess he doesn't...anymore. 

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:22 | 4349996 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Haven't they heard that Bitcoin can increase their margins by 2%.

What are they suicidal?

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:22 | 4349999 Conax
Conax's picture

I got new humidifier filters at Sears last Saturday.  On the lower floor where they sell appliances and tools, I was the only customer in sight.  It was awfully quiet in there, some older fellow sold me the things and I skeedaddled.  Saturday afternoon.  

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:29 | 4350019 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Got a beard trimmer there a few months back, it was the only place in the entire Oaks Mall that I could find one.

Apparently, just yanking every hair off a males body is in ;-)

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:50 | 4350092 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

The "pussification" of the American metrosexual.

It's all good nmewn.  Soon the last of us who have a set of balls will have our own Fiefdoms. 

I'm thinking of investing in moats and Hanoverians to defend the barony.

Back to the future.


Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:08 | 4350169 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

"The "pussification" of the American metrosexual."

That reminded me of one of the reasons I went to Sears.  For years I wore the levi's 501 jeans, then one day they redesigned them into low-cut, pencil leg metrosexual jeans.  The only classic looking jeans I could find were the Lee straight leg, which they happen to sell at Sears.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:34 | 4350263 mofreedom
mofreedom's picture

dammit, I knew the crotch blew out of the 501 but I also look like a metro?

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:04 | 4350351 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

I remember wondering why I couldn't get my pants fully on and I couldn't bend without my crack showing.
These Lees are the best replacement I could find to the old 501's.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:16 | 4350405 mofreedom
mofreedom's picture

I'll remember them thanks.  I realize Levi turned from a gold miner company to an ass miner company many years ago but haven't been abe to break the tradition.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:42 | 4350289 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

Speaking of jeans, WTH with Levis when they stopped making carpenters?  I loved those things.  All their stuff is just garbage now.

Willing to pay $ to chinese for reasonably durable and convincing knockoffs.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:32 | 4350259 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"It's all good nmewn.  Soon the last of us who have a set of balls will have our own Fiefdoms."

lol...I like it!

King nmewn: Man the parapets men! The confused, cologned, coiffed & waxed Pajama Boy Army is at the gate vacillating & whining about their hot chocolate being cold and UPS packages not coming on time again!

Prince nmewn: We'll send the out the Powder Puff Girls to disperse them back to the salons once more, sire.

King nmewn: Well done son, carry on! ;-)

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:26 | 4350006 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

Target killed JCP.

Modernity killed Sears, they never got over thinking they ran the only general store in the village.

Miss them catalogs, tho.

JCP has been an odd fish for fifty years and more, but I guess they owned the low end, back in the day, still had some quality and quirky style.  But in effect Macys has descended to that market position now, crushing JCP against Target.  I really don't see Macy's lasting much longer, either.  I miss the mid-market retailers from the 1960s and 1970s that Macy's scarfed up, and were still good shopping into the 1980s.  I dunno what comes next, maybe an up-market Target spinoff.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:54 | 4350105 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

Its pronounced Tarjay, darling.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:10 | 4350181 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Tarjay, Dahlinck!

extra credit for Yiddish.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:45 | 4350300 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

T'Ain't yiddish.  Is funny Minnesota (yah) way of trying to sound French.  But, at least we aren't really French, which is nice.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 10:07 | 4351349 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

No JCP's in Texas are closing. Even the ones in abandoned malls in the smaller towns.

The majority of the 33 were all in Rust Belt areas.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:33 | 4350028 americanspirit
americanspirit's picture

I did consulting work for JCP corporate HQ for several years in the 1990s and it was clear to me then that this was a dying company, primarily because upper management was that ever-winning US corporate executive combo of arrogance and ignorance and middle management was heavily populated by inadequate personalities who lived only to terrorize everyone beneath them on the corporate ladder.

Oh, and not incidentally their sense of style was stuck somewhere around the Angelo Mozillo look for guys and the Marge Simpson look for women. It was always a hoot to walk into the Plano offices and see what the dog had drug in that morning.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:35 | 4350036 El Hosel
El Hosel's picture

.... And Best Buy is not far behind.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:08 | 4350167 Midas
Midas's picture

The pathetic thing about Best Buy is their main competitor, Circuit City, BKed it a few years ago and left all their market share up for grabs.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:55 | 4350331 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

At least JCP was a place you could actually find kids jeans in a slim. If you didn't time it right they were gone. 

Every store these days has mostly HUSKY. 

How times change.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:43 | 4350040 q99x2
q99x2's picture

To me, and I'm just me, I deduced from pattern recognition traits (you wouldn't believe how much acid I did between 13 and 19 years of age) that the banksters are preparing to sacrifice the president of Washington D.C.

Just a hunch but it dowsn't look good as the collapse nears.

If it happens it'll be staged and he'll be taken to the same island with Timothy McVie, The Shaw of Iran and CIA director William Casey until he has a sex change and is sent back to the country he is from. There he will continue to horrify people.

He could even meet his calling land a job in the circus.

Do I blame him. No. His star matter underwent the contortions of the time he was awarded. That is all.

Same may be true for J.C. Penny and Sears..

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:49 | 4350088 seek
seek's picture

It could go the other way, the sacrifice could be he gets to be the "bad" messenger. E.g. he's the one that establishes dictatorship though EO's like the noise they've been making. He's paving the way for someone else, of course.

It is clear to me, as it is to you, that everyone is distancing from POTUS because they know bad shit is about to go down, one way or another.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 01:29 | 4350676 Andre
Andre's picture

DHS is Barry's. Billary is a company toad.. What happens if one decides they don't need the other?

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:40 | 4350287 mofreedom
mofreedom's picture

Once you take the black acid you will be killed if you go back.  Live it, hate it, get over it.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:58 | 4350344 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

Musta been a helluva trip.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:58 | 4350536 Blano
Blano's picture

Based on the subject matter you apparently did a helluva lot more than yours truly.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:37 | 4350046 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

I don't agree that these two are dying mainly "because people have less money to spend".

Sear & JC Penney?  The atmosphere brings to mind dead flies in the shop window.  Outdated merchandise.  Catch-all product lines with no specialities.  Dowdy surroundings, tacky carpeting, old-style display racks, matronly service and reputation...

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:41 | 4350063 jim249
jim249's picture

Sounds like a department store in the former ussr.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:52 | 4350100 seek
seek's picture

Indeed it does. I was just re-reading Orlov's "Reinventing Collapse." It was written in 2008 and it's been amazingly prophetic, and this type of thing fits in with the narrative well.

One of many other crazy things, he predicted the surge in demand around marijuana, which he felt was the US equivalent to the Sovietski's drowning themselve in vodka as the country collapsed.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:54 | 4350109 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Dead flies... too funny, and true.

If they offered to give you $1,000 worth of free merchandise,

  could you find anything in the damn store you really wanted???

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:19 | 4350212 TuesdayBen
TuesdayBen's picture

yeah, I'd take a couple of $500 mowers, get around 3 years out of each...

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:43 | 4350292 mofreedom
mofreedom's picture

Just use a fuel additive that negates the affect of ethanol and you can get five each.  Fudge gub fuels.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 01:58 | 4350721 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

The ethanol in gasoline kills small engines.  You CANNOT leave any gas in lawnmowers, snowblowers, weedwackers, ANYTHING anymore.  Empty out the tank as best you can, run it until it's dry and maske sure you drain the carb bowl as well.  You can use any of the preservatives made for ethanol blend gasoline if you want - its better than nothign  - but best thing is to make sure no gas remains for any long periods.

Have a snowblower that's going on 20 years - have complete service every few years that includes a carb rebuild and am religious about changing oil.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:05 | 4350156 BandGap
BandGap's picture

Sears sells excellent appliances and tools. That's the only reason I have shopped there is the past 20 years.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 05:20 | 4350914 Yenbot
Yenbot's picture

My refrigerator disagrees with you. POS. The refrigerator, not you. As a young buck during a previous depress-- er, recession I went to work in the woods. I showed up with a Crapman chain saw. A week later, the guys stopped snickering at me and I had a Stihl like everybody else. Because the Crapman was scattered screw by screw, cracked cylinder by melted plastic all over the mountain. Never give a man a boy's tool to do a lumberjack's job. Avoided Die Hard with a vengence after that. RIP.

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 10:09 | 4351357 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

Stihl get's shit done.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:18 | 4350210 nickt1y
nickt1y's picture

Flat incomes, higher cost(s) of living (Gasoline, Ulilities, Healthcare premiums, Healthcare deductibles). You can't sell stuff to peoiple with no money.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:32 | 4350253 Ward no. 6
Ward no. 6's picture

In my area those two stores are updated... No carpet, no old-style display racks etc...

I don't shop at either place anymore, but go through them at times to get to other places..

They look great actually.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:38 | 4350052 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

This is hubris, self-absorption, the natural endgame of the Narcissist in places of influence and control,


old news, too, and by now We should be yawning at such reports.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:42 | 4350064 TheRideNeverEnds
TheRideNeverEnds's picture

Well the market doesn't seem to care that America is tanking, in fact those buying the shit out of e-minis think this is super bullish as the ES is going straight up once again.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:46 | 4350075 Luckhasit
Luckhasit's picture

*chuckles* Those stores are the barometer of the middle class or IE the economy. Who shops at those giants? People that have cash to spend because they work a job that doesn't fuck them over when it comes time to cut the check (CTC as I like to say).  Best Buy is circling around the drain too.  Whose left after that? Amazon and ebay are killing them.  Go long FedEx and UPS.  Always a market for that.

I hear car maker Masariti is doing great and other services that cater to the rich are doing wonderful!  Good thing China is buying American muscle, else that industry would be a dead duck to.


Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:55 | 4350112 The Old Man
The Old Man's picture

Sears was an icon. So was JC Penny. And for us lower middle class (years ago, blue collar types) so was K Mart. (SS Kresge) Anybody remember Woolworth's, or how about Western Auto.

Beyond these failures is the wanton growth that the big box stores marketed themselves into.


Backed into a corner of slowing consumerism (or a shit economy), where economic growth was once the ideal, and their slow adaptation to technical (internet) as well as global (China) competition, they are squeezing profit (or reducing net loss) and nothing less can be expected. This is not a train wreck. Some would say it is. I believe this is a train pulling a belief of growth (consumerism) where there isn't any. Where the giants put faith and past profits into an ideal that wouldn't stand. And the locomotive is leaking more and more steam as the days and months progress. I was a construction super. We were going nuts doing build outs, build to suit and revamps. 60 to 80 hours a week. Until 2009. Then the bottom fell out. There's still some remodels and revamps going on, but the major stuff here in the rust belt is virtually dead. Some of the pencil pushers sharpened the pencils so sharp that one of my equals from another company dropped dead from a heart attack on the floor of a new Walmart and another, working out of town, blew his brains out in his truck in the construction parking lot. I'm out of it now. The CFO's and the Architects can take all the grief and the ulcers. They made the bed. They can sleep in it. I'm just sorry that the poor employees, some of which are my age and a tad younger, are losing their jobs into this jobless economy. Many of them came from lost jobs to begin with. When the train eventually comes to a stop, it will be a wild wilderness with no station for sure.

Mon, 01/20/2014 - 22:33 | 4350257 TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

Retail is just a symptom of a failed economy. The real problem is no jobs, because oil is expensive and money is worthless.


Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:32 | 4350465 SweetDoug
SweetDoug's picture




The real problem is not 'no jobs' the real problem is there are no 'real' jobs.


They're all over in Asia.



Mon, 01/20/2014 - 21:57 | 4350114 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

I live near Exton, Pa. It is in Chester County, in suburban Philadelphia, and it is the richest county in Pennsylvania. And JCP cannot make it there.

The Sears store north of us closed maybe a year back. The mall it anchored is bankrupt.

Game over

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