Like many people of a certain age, I’ve always had a soft spot for Sears. For much of my life, it was the go-to store for household appliances, clothing, tools and auto parts.
And then there’s the rich history of the Sears catalog, introduced in 1893. Long before the internet and the ubiquity of catalog merchants, the Sears catalog was for many Americans the sole way you could purchase a reliable good without traveling to a big-city store.
In April, the Boyle Heights store hit the chopping block. The historic Santa Monica store is now office space. There may be only about three dozen Sears stores still operating nationwide.
And I’m not talking about the arrival of e-commerce and the rise of Amazon, although these obviously were body blows to many traditional retailers.
As founder Richard W. Sears said early in his career as a purveyor of timepieces: “If you buy a good watch you will always be satisfied, and at our prices a good watch will influence the sale of another good watch.”