When Sears sold their brand made by others.

fett

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Shopping at Sears when they sold really neat and well made stuff was great. Most of us, at the time, didn't know who made whatever. I just ran into a really good example. I found a watch I have had for years. I didn't buy it new. It wasn't a brand I recognized. It is a "Tradition". They were marketed through Sears. I found that out via the Web. I also found out who made this Swiss 17jewel automatic day/date watch. WOW!!! It was made by Heuer. :applause:
 

fett

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It's kinda cool. I'm going to wear it. It said "Incabloc" on the back. I thought that was something about the material used to make the case. Nope. Look it up. This will go with my Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve tube amp and my Silvertone electric guitar. Sears. It's Where America Shops. :thumb: It has a second hand. I wish I did. :rofl:
 
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Roberteaux

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I had a 12 gauge shotgun that my dad bought right before World War II. In the late Sixties I used it a lot, mostly while hunting rabbits and/or pheasants.

This shotgun had few markings, IIRC. I only knew it came from Sears because dad said so.

Later I needed a part for the shotgun. I brought it to a local gunsmith, who took one look at it and told me that what I had there was a Stevens 520 and that parts would be a cinch to obtain. I told the guy that dad said he got the shotgun from Sears in the late 1930's, and the gunsmith replied that Sears bought a lot of shotguns from Stevens and sold them at retail in their department stores.

I eventually sold that shotgun to a buddy of mine-- but that was over 40 years ago. No idea what has become of it since then.

--R
 

Dolebludger

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We still have a “Sears Hometown Store” here (whatever that is). It sells appliances, tools, and garden and snow equipment. Don’t know how long it will last. It is in a mall that is going downhill.
 

Bill Hicklin

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Some here might recognize the Ditson Dreadnought:



Sold by Oliver Ditson department stores. Made in Nazareth, PA.....
 

tazzboy

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Ever since Eddie Lampert took over as President and CEO of Sears/Kmart in 2013 it's been all downhill since then.
 

SteveC

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My (long deceased) father-in-law ran the Sears Phila Catalog Distribution Center. He was the top dog there. I remember getting a tour of the facility back when I was dating my wife... circa 1976.

I imagine that is what the inside of an Amazon warehouse looks like today. Only back then, the automation was people. So many people, shitloads of people, so much stuff, shitloads of stuff and it was all a buzz, with tractor trailers coming and going 24x7. Shipping back then was via common carrier, or USPS.

It was all done by hand, by people. I still cannot get over how many people worked there.

We have a brick from the implosion back in 1994. That's all that's left of that legacy.

 

PeteK

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Sears and Craftsman used to be respected. They both became a joke. I have an old Sears block plane that looks exactly like a Miller's Falls model other than it says Sears on it and I have a ton of old craftsman hand tools from my wife's Grandpa's old shop. Quality stuff. Not like the shit you see at Lowe's today that days Craftsman. Might as well be Harbor Freight. Probably made in the same factory now anyway
 

PeteK

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I think Sears downfall was that damn credit card. Holy shit did they try to cram that thing down your throat! I'm buying a $5 coffee grinder, so no I don't want the fucking protection plan and no I'm not going to sign up for a credit card to save 10%. Yes, I'm sure. No, don't put the application in the bag in case I change my mind!
 

LtDave32

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Sears and Craftsman used to be respected. They both became a joke. I have an old Sears block plane that looks exactly like a Miller's Falls model other than it says Sears on it and I have a ton of old craftsman hand tools from my wife's Grandpa's old shop. Quality stuff. Not like the shit you see at Lowe's today that days Craftsman. Might as well be Harbor Freight. Probably made in the same factory now anyway
We recently took a drive to the gold country. Up near the Sierras, we found a true "second hand store" . All sorts of goodies in there. I bought a block plane for ten bucks.

Really decent plane. It's a "Monkey Wards" (Montgomery Wards), yet obviously from the early 1960s. Wood handle was cracked and loose, so I took a chunk of mahogany left over (I have a ton of that) and made a new wood handle. Stripped it down. Cleaned it all up.

Pretty high quality mfg. I sharpened the blade on it to razor sharp, and it cuts like a dream.
 

cooljuk

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Some of the best tools I own are Craftsman. Some of the worst tools I own are Craftsman.

For a short time, Craftsman was a near-lone wolf, producing American made tools and guaranteeing them for life, in modern times of inexpensive off-shore crap or absurd priced medium-grade tools from unknown origins.

At some point, the bean counters made the poor decision to move tool production off to China and push hard the marketing of the lifetime warranty.

"Ya, but if it breaks you can just bring it back anytime and get a new one!" does absolutely nothing for me when my truck is broken down in the desert and my Craftsman socket just split in half because of poor materials and manufacturing.
 

LPCM&BFG

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Shopping at Sears when they sold really neat and well made stuff was great. Most of us, at the time, didn't know who made whatever. I just ran into a really good example. I found a watch I have had for years. I didn't buy it new. It wasn't a brand I recognized. It is a "Tradition". They were marketed through Sears. I found that out via the Web. I also found out who made this Swiss 17jewel automatic day/date watch. WOW!!! It was made by Heuer. :applause:
Nice looking vintage piece!

If that watch was from the late 1970s or early 80s, I would not be at all surprised if someone like Heuer made it. When quartz watches were introduced to the general public in the late 70s by the Japanese watch makers, the Swiss watch industry took a huge hit. A lot of Swiss watch companies went out of business or were scrambling to find sales outlets (it's called the Quartz Crisis in the industry). This is what permited TAG to buy Heuer and make TAG Heuer, as well as for Hayek to buy up all the watch brands and component manufacturers that now make up Swatch Group.

Enjoy wearing your Heuer!
 

fry

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I worked for Sears from 1987 to 1994. I think at the end of my run, it was starting to head in the wrong direction, but we had no idea how bad it was going to get in the coming years. If you had told me back in the day that the company would someday go under, I would’ve laughed my head off. I mean, the place had everything. How could they fail? The interwebz...
 

Fracture

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interesting footnote - I went to look at a car in the summer of 2017
about 25 miles out - I think it was Sycamore, IL

the seller was quite the interesting man and I had an almost 3 hour conversation
as we sat pond side feeding the Koi
an odd cluster of custom built homes from the 70's - early 00's
( the land and lots was a story in itself )
very nice home, lush landscaping - he had about 8 garage spaces across
2 buildings and some nice sports and luxury cars but he was winding down
He was a retired psychiatrist and had been solely employed by Sears
for nearly his entire career, I think he referred to his position as
an Industrial Psychiatrist
Traveled with the very top executives via private plane mostly and was
mostly responsible for tracking shoppers behavior as well as employee
trends

I had to look him up after he told me the story of how he had witnessed
the murder and dismemberment of his mother sometime in the late 30's
( I found a old newspaper article - she was the victim of a drifter )
 

toymaker

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Oh Sears and their brands...for the longest time it was THE value brand, quality stuff, local support and readily available.

It all started to fall to shut in the late 80s...consumers became brand conscious - and Sears was their parents/grandparents time. My mom worked in a catalog store - my dads uncle owned. Pre internet - if you were in a small town - those were your mall.

Craftsman = lifetime warranty - and they meant it. Everyone scoured garage/estate sales looking for rusty old broken handtools...knowing it was just a quick trip to Sears for a free replacement. The power stuff lasted YEARS, not months. Places like Harbor Freight stole the idea of the handtools..knowing its unlikely anyone remembers to bring back their busted cheap China junk - and the few that do are likely "loyalist".

How many companies did Sears own at one time? I know Allstate was theirs, they began Discover Card, wasn't HR Block and one of the real estate agencies too (ERA?). Seriously - they were a financial powerhouse in their day. Think of it from a modern perspective and the value we place on "data analytics".

Imagine Amazon owned a bank, TurboTax and Zillow as well as an insurance company. So - they know what you buy, how much you make, how much you save, your complete spending habits...they then could suggest where you live/match you to a house that fits you, target promotions to your spending habits, base your insurance on your profile and available $$..Basically they would corner the market and dominate for a century like no other.

People forget how "advanced" Sears used to be - I can still remember those huge ass teletypes in the 80s. Typewriter connected to a phone line - part typewriter/part fax/part computer sans monitor. PCs were still new and the internet was a few years away from adoption. All communication came from those monsters - and the reams of dit matrix computer paper they spit out.
 

Pop1655

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Who made Silvertone? That was a great Christmas. I didn't have to plug into the Philco hi-fi console in the living room anymore.
 


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