Report: Sears Is Failing Because It Spends Next-To-Nothing To Maintain Stores

There is a common trap that big businesses — especially retailers — fall into when it comes time to cut costs. Sales decline and fewer people come into the store, so the company starts chipping away at expenses that were high when the store was in favor. In the case of once-great retailer Sears, its decision to neglect the upkeep of its retail locations may be what’s keeping it from catching up to the younger big box stores.

The L.A. Times reports that Sears only spends an estimated $2-3 per square foot each year on maintenance and upkeep. Compare that to the $6-8/square foot estimates for competitors Target and Walmart.

“Sears today is old, decrepit and run-down,” one retail expert tells the Times. “Customers just don’t want to come in and buy.”

The paper looked at Sears’ Santa Monica location, one of the few of the retailer’s stores to be declared a national landmark, and one in which the company has claimed to invest oodles of money during the past two years to improve.

“There were no signs that I could see pointing out the appliance section in the basement,” complained one person who had tried to do a bit of shopping at the store. “You’re left wandering around lost and confused. And no one comes to help.”

“It basically looks like the same store from way back when with newer clothes and appliances,” said another shopper. “They haven’t done a lot to update it. I’d rather shop at other stores now.”

But a rep for the company tells the Times, “We are investing in the aesthetics, which is paint and signage… Whenever you have thousands of stores, you will have some stores that are really great, some great and some stores that need attention.”

Sears’ struggle to update and draw shoppers shows in Santa Monica [L.A. Times]

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  1. Rexy does not like the new system says:

    “‘Sears today is old, decrepit and run-down,” one retail expert tells the Times. “Customers just don’t want to come in and buy.”

    The paper looked at Sears’ Santa Monica location, one of the few of the retailer’s stores to be declared a national landmark, and one in which the company has claimed to invest oodles of money during the past two years to improve.

    “There were no signs that I could see pointing out the appliance section in the basement,” complained one person who had tried to do a bit of shopping at the store. “You’re left wandering around lost and confused. And no one comes to help.'”

    Don’t you mean Kmart?

    • mikedt says:

      Kmart/Sears, same difference. Owned by the same people who want little to do with retailing and are just waiting till the real estate market comes back so they can dump the property.

      • Rexy does not like the new system says:

        When I last visited Sears and Kmart (5+ years ago), Sears was neat and clean while Kmart was a minefield and required a Hazmat suit to get through.

      • HomerSimpson says:

        Yup, that’s pretty much the plan. If you check out their real estate website, all of the stores are available for lease/rent/sale in some fashion.

      • MeowMaximus says:

        The last time I was in a Sears store, it smelled of urine, stale smoke, rotting food, and there were bits of trash everywhere. The few employees there ignored me, even when I spoke to them, as if I was imposing on their time to ask them to sell me something. I walked out and have never returned.

    • 180CS says:

      Ditto what mikedt says. Both my local kmart and sears are places I have only set foot in once.

    • Shinzakura says:

      Actually, I worked at that particular store when I was but a teen. The store’s old, and if it’s anything like it was back in the 80s, then yeah, Sears ain’t keeping up with it, especially in light of the well-upkept mall just across the street.

  2. HeySuburbia says:

    They could cut some costs by getting rid of some of their employees. Every time I’m at Sears all I see is tons of employees standing around doing nothing and talking to each other.

  3. GMFish says:

    We are investing in the aesthetics, which is paint and signage…

    We’ve done bought some paint and my cousin Earl is doing up some signs. They’re looking plumb nice. We’re gonna have this place looking mighty fine, ya all.

  4. 180CS says:

    Exactly. Why would I want to pay top dollar at a store that’s depressing to set foot in? This is also my problem with Target. They always look nice when they build a new one, but then they don’t replace the CFL lighting often enough, and the store starts to get a depressed look from the bad lighting. I’d rather shop at Walmart than Target just because Walmart has better lighting.

    • HomerSimpson says:

      ROFL…try counting the burned out light bulbs the next time you’re at Walmart. You’ll be surprised….

      • shepd says:

        Sounds like walmart is designing for failure. :D

        But more seriously, you can be cheap and only have enough lights to get the store acceptably lit if they’re all on, or you can spend more and have extra so you don’t have to replace bulbs immediately. And from what I’ve seen at Walmart, they go with the redundancy approach, which is pretty smart. :)

      • Kuri says:

        I would be surprised, if any of the bulbs at my local Walmart were burned out.

      • Destron says:

        Walmart has a system in place for getting burned out bulbs and ballasts replaced. When I worked there as an overnight stocker 4 times a year an outside contractor would come in and go through the whole store. Also though, Walmart doesn’t use all the lighting all the time. Rows and sections of lights go off an on depending on the brightness of the store. Since they use skylights and such to light the store as well. Target has drop ceilings so the stores seem naturally darker regardless.

  5. Press1forDialTone says:

    Our Sears store in my town of Bloomington, IN looks great and has a great
    staff and has been there since I was a teen (now 56) It is an anchor store
    for our College Mall as is Macy’s and Dick’s sporting goods. Our mall is
    one of the first Simon malls for a city our size and it is profitable and
    excellent to shop in. So maybe what the rep says has always been true.
    The real truth is maybe Sears needs to step up their freshening or
    close stores that dont’ pay for themseves + a reasonable profit.
    Maybe hire someone with a business management degree that they
    -earned- and know how to use for the benefit of the investors, management
    employees and customers. You know the way those degrees used to be used
    before everything dropped out except management and investors.
    Funny, our 2 Kmarts also look fresh as a daisy and the staff is great.
    Don’t think about moving here, we have exactly the right number of people.
    Shop here, don’t move here :-)

    • IndyJaws says:

      I lived in Bloomington for 10 years (4 as student, 6 as regular resident) and am glad to hear College Mall is still in good shape. I wondered how it would fare after the expansion of retail on the West side. Agreed that it’s a great place to live (albeit a bit too politically liberal for my taste), especially during the summer months when most of the students have left!

  6. spartan says:

    Roebuck must be laughing in his grave.

  7. Sarek says:

    This is new news??? I doubt the c. 1985 Sears in town has spent much on upkeep since it was built.
    And don’t get me started on K-Mart, those are even older.

  8. Quirk Sugarplum says:

    “The retailer also is modernizing the shopping experience by equipping employees at 450 locations with iPads and iPod Touches to help shoppers scan inventory and find product data away from the checkout counter.”

    Oh, Sears. You’re just modernizing and needlessly complicating your already abysmal service. *sigh*

  9. Murph1908 says:

    I went to Sears last month. I realized the belt I was wearing was ratty and worn, and needed a nicer one for an after-work event. I figured it’s just a belt. Sears was closest. How bad could it be?

    I chose my belt from a decent selection and went to the counter. The employee finished her (personal) conversation with her coworker, and came over to check me out.

    “Would you like to use your Sears card?”
    “No thanks.”
    “Do you have one? Would you like to apply and save 20% on this purchase?”
    “No thanks.”
    “Would you like to sign up for [something or other I can't remember now]?”

    Ok, I was patient and pleasant up to this point. I know it’s not her fault, but I couldn’t help it.

    “No. I just want to buy a belt. Can I do that?”
    “I’m sorry. We have to ask that.”
    “Well, tell your manager is annoying, and it’ll make me go to JC Penny next time.”

    • regis-s says:

      Maybe you should tell management yourself. I doubt they care much about what their employees think or claim to have been told by customers.

      • Murph1908 says:

        If the manager doesn’t listen to what the employees are saying the customers are complaining about, they deserve to go out of business.

        • VintageLydia says:

          Welcome to every major retailer ever. Seriously, tell the manager yourself. It makes a difference hearing it directly from the customer than from the cashier.

          Though to be honest, the manager probably hates it, too, but it’s corporate policy. Complaining to corporate would be the most effective of all.

          • Murph1908 says:

            Already did that. I submitted feedback on their website. Think that’ll do any good?

            I still think complaining at the register is the most effective. I am not going to waste 15 more minutes of my time waiting for a manager. If we all voice our displeasure there, it’ll feed up.

    • nopirates says:

      places like sears make a ton on store credit cards. the quickest way for an employee to get fired is to ignore the corporate directive about asking customers to apply for a card. target does the same thing every time i shop there. i know it’s crappy corporate policy, but if the cashier wants to continue being a cashier, the questions must be asked.

      *shrug*

      • George4478 says:

        I don’t mind being asked. I do mind the repetitive “are you sure? are you sure?” hassles. Does their corporate policy say “ask, then ask again, then ask again, then ask again…”

        I said ‘no’, let’s move on.

        • VintageLydia says:

          Short answer? Yes, it is. Or if not, cashiers can get written up or fired for not signing up enough people so their jobs very much depend on wearing people down enough to say yes.

        • stellapurdy says:

          I used to work for a retailer and had to offer the option as well. And for every card that was issued I got a commission. Not sure if Sears is doing that but it wouldn’t surprise me.

        • RayanneGraff says:

          Pretty much, yeah. I’ve only worked for a few places that made us harass people for store cards or warranties, but they basically told us to bug the customers till they agreed just to shut you up. We were threatened with termination if we didn’t sign enough people up too.

          • Murph1908 says:

            This is the policy that we have to fight back against.

            How many readers does Consumerist have? Why don’t we organize and fight back on some of this stuff?

            Like once a month, pick a cause and do something about it. Like choose August for everyone to walk out on a big purchase if you are hassled for credit cards. We might not be big enough alone, but if we could get some internet power and others joined in, we might be able to make some noise.

        • Chuft-Captain says:

          Yes, their corporate policy does say exactly that. In some cases, it specifies that they must try each approach. In others, it specifies something such as the customer must refuse three times before you can give up.

      • The Colonel says:

        Not only is it corporate policy to ask at Target, but there is a quota each day for each store few new credit card accounts. I was always glad I wasn’t a cashier when I worked there.

      • Murph1908 says:

        I understand the economics of it. But when I say “no thank you” the first time, that should be the end of it. I may be asked at Target, but I don’t get harrassed.

        And just because it’s corporate policy doesn’t mean we consumers should just put up with it. I let them know the other side of the economics of it. Because of it, I’ll be spending money elsewhere.

        My message may not get through. But I am not going to keep quiet. If I am not alone, maybe we’ll all get through.

        • RayanneGraff says:

          Tell the managers every time then.

          • Murph1908 says:

            So, every time I want to buy a $20, I have to be harassed, and then spend 15 more minutes of my time waiting for a manager?

            No. I made my complaint, and I’ll avoid them.

  10. VectorVictor says:

    Actually, Sears has been improving some of their stores quite a bit. New thin client PCs, retail systems, and inventory systems are popping up in the new stores. Plus, the service at our closest Sears stores has been great, and the stores clean.

    I know it’s chic to incessantly bash Sears, and they do deserve much of it, but Sears does quite a bit right too. Baby, bathwater, and all.

    Now back to the groupthink.

    • bennilynn says:

      I guess yours is one of the ones they’re investing in because the Sears near me is a sad, gray, grungy, always-empty place with clothes strewn around, nothing in stock, no helpful employees, and nobody working the registers.

      • Chuft-Captain says:

        It’s weird. In one of the relatively minor, outlying malls here, the Sears is neat and tidy and looks kept. In the flagship mall, at their flagship area store, the selection is half-missing, racks are partially empty, clothes are mixed around with each other, and so forth. I was looking around like “WTF?”

    • JJFIII says:

      Your anecdotal experience does not change the facts.
      “The L.A. Times reports that Sears only spends an estimated $2-3 per square foot each year on maintenance and upkeep. Compare that to the $6-8/square foot estimates for competitors…”

      That means competitors have nearly 3 times as much money on upkeep than Sears (which are generally older than their competitors to begin with). I have worked with another American iconic company and the amount they spend on R&M would put any of them to shame. McDonald’s has forced many operators to tear down and rebuild or so massive upgrades to keep their restaurants.

    • Costner says:

      I was going to say they are about 15 years beyond the useful life of their POS system and their inventory control system… but if what you say is true maybe there is hope for them yet.

      The last time I was in Sears and actually bought something it was idiotic how long it took to actually ring up three items. Whereas that same transaction at Target or Walmart would take less than 60 seconds, at Sears it was probably closer to four to five minutes and I left with at least 30 inches of receipt tape in my bag.

      I want Sears to survive, but I think they need to invest heavily in their stores, and they need to define their goal rather than trying to be everything for everyone.

  11. jmgadget says:

    Our local Sears has not seen a renovation in 10+ years, but it is still clean and bright, however you can tell the maintenance is starting to lack in some areas as tiles are getting torn up and the shelving is starting to either break or wear out. They are still using the old registers though.

    This Sears also changed its hours to close at 8PM (The mall has a steadfast rule that stores must remain open until 9PM, how they circumvent that rule is beyond me). There is still nobody in the store usually, i use it as walk though to the rest of the mall as it is a short distance and the parking lot is always empty as nobody wants to be on the sears end of the mall.

  12. MBZ321 says:

    The problem with Kmart stores anyway is, (and likely Sears), they often do a half-assed remodel. My local Kmart got a nice outside repaint, new carts, etc. But…they left the beyond-faded old “Big” Kmart signs up, checkout stands that are worn and horrible looking (come on, you couldn’t even spring for some spray paint?), etc. (Besides that, my local store is clean, the closest discounter to my house, and is actually pretty “busy” for a Kmart).

    • HomerSimpson says:

      Yeah, that’s par for the course…they redo the outside of the store but most of the interiors haven’t been touched since the mid 90s “pantry” decor. Even the ones that do get a more complete remodel often look half-assed (either to begin with or soon down the road)

  13. phira says:

    Or maybe Sears is failing because of awful customer service.

    I went in earlier this month with my boyfriend, who was in need of new work clothes. I spotted a rack with a bunch of cute sun hats on it, and the top of the rack said, “50% off all hats!” I selected a hat that I liked and went to pay for it, but when the cashier rang it up (after very lazily asking me repeatedly if I wanted to get a Sears card), it was not 50% off. I had to ask a couple of times for him to check the price, and it took several minutes for another sales associate to show up and go check the hat rack.

    As it turns out, the whole “50% off all hats!” didn’t apply to all hats, or all hats on that rack. It only applied to all hats $38 and under, whereas my hat was $40. And they did not offer me the discount even though it was very clear that the promotion was a bait and switch.

    I wasn’t a frequent Sears shopper before, but you can bet I’ll never shop there again. I know it was just a sun hat, but seriously.

  14. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    I stopped going to our local Sears when they stopped carrying Lands End merchandise in their store. Some Sears stores still have it, but not ours. My husband will occasionally buy a tool there but the store is so poorly organized. If it didn’t have the mall traffic from being an anchor store, I don’t know how it would attract customers.

  15. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I visited Sears for the first time in a long while this summer. It was clean, well stocked, and clearly had been refurbished. It was actually really nice. I bought items off the rack, so I didn’t have to order anything, and aside from being asked if I had a Sears card or wanted one (no both times). I was in and out without any hassle.

    The KMart store in town just seems dirty, even though it’s well lit and organized. It’s a relatively new store, too, built in the early 90’s.

  16. PragmaticGuy says:

    There’s a KMart in Manhattan that can be entered right from Penn Station.The place is terrible. Poor lighting, ceiling tiles look like they’ve been there forever and the place is a mess. When they go out of business they’ll have no one to blame but themselves. It’s not that people don’t want to buy, they just don’t want to buy in a dump.

  17. sparc says:

    Kmart is failing because of that. Sears are usually in better condition.

    Even the updated Kmarts are a hybrid of some low end discount store that’s lightly updated. It’s just weird. The only time i go in a Kmart is for the in-store pickup.

  18. BoneThugg77 says:

    The Sears on the north side of Chicago reminds me of a decrepit Army base exchange circa 1982. I saw various wires/cables hanging from the water-stained false ceiling. The aisles are scrunched together and overfilled, producing a Hoarders-esque claustrophobic vibe. Lights were burnt out here and there. Scattered customers and/or salespeople skulked about in dingy shadows.

    Several years ago I needed a large window air conditioner. The Kenmore was the best deal around. I was greeted by a appliance salesman who was a dead ringer for Bruce Campbell but had a desperation reminiscent of Jack Lemmon in Glengarry Glen Ross. “You researched it on the Internet, huh? Did you buy on the website? I don’t get a commission when people buy online. Nobody comes in here much these days.” He chainsmoked off-brand cigarettes while we waited in the alley for the forklift. I was depressed for days afterwards.

    What people don’t often realize is that Sears is not really a retail company anymore, and hasn’t been for a long time. It’s a weird mishmash of hedge fund and financial service provider that happens to own a chain of disintegrating department stores.

    • quail20 says:

      +1 Dead on. Even before the K-Mart buy out the Sears upper management was more concerned with their Budget rental cars, credit card lines (I think they started Discover didn’t they?), insurance, etc. They lost focus from their retail roots, Di-worsification as one economic guru would put it.

  19. Emily says:

    How is the Santa Monica Sears a landmark? It’s just a big concrete box… inside and out.

  20. JustJayce says:

    At one time in my life I bought all my major purchases at Sears because they had “Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back” policies without a time limit (think Costco). I only had to use that policy once, but it gave me confidence in buying from them. When they got rid of that policy after they merged with K-Mart they began to lose those purchases from me. I could go anywhere and get the same crappy policy – or buy from the web.
    I really think that Sears wants to maintain their major brands like Craftsman and Kenmore but they want some other company to market and sell those brands. This would allow them to ditch retail stores. It does seem they are putting money into the web – but I think in the long term they will fail because of Amazon and others like them.

  21. quail20 says:

    Yea, Sears has had some financial troubles but I wonder how much the badly maintained stores are corporate’s fault? Many retail chains will give the manager the ability to say what maintenance does and doesn’t get done. Bathroom tile is cracked and the toilet looks like half of the Teamster’s Union has used it after burrito night at the local watering hole? Well, the manager may or may not take steps to make the place more inviting, because the expenditure goes against the store’s profits; and if the profit quota isn’t met then there’s no bonus and possibly a dressing down to be had by his District Mgr. who now doesn’t get their bonus either.

    I’ve seen this thing happen at cinemas across the USA. Barely enough money to build a place, no money for the upkeep, and quality is maintained by those who’s paychecks depend on being miserly. Then they wonder why patronage to their fine establishment is falling off.

    • HomerSimpson says:

      Pretty sure the store management has little pull over the individual store’s upkeep (aside from “put it in writing and maybe we’ll get to it if there’s money lying around”).

  22. blogger X says:

    I used to work at Sears, they closed the location three months ago. That location moved to its spot in the late 80’s from another area. They only renovated the store once, yes, ONCE.

  23. mcgyver210 says:

    when a Bankrupt company buys another company it is inevitable that one or both will eventually fail if the purchased company is run same as the failed company was.

    K-Mart = Sears Failure.

    Sears has now alienated the last loyal customers it had. Bad Customer service, rundown buildings, Devaluing the Long standing Forever Satisfaction Guarantee, the list goes on but in the end Sears will be a footnote in history if nothing changes.

  24. Outrun1986 says:

    The Sears stores here aren’t a problem at all, they are clean and well lit and look like a modern department store. Prices are on par with other stores. No problems here.

    Kmart on the other hand looks like a dump with dirty stores, extremely poor customer service, and a POS system that does not update with the Sunday sales correctly, plus managers that refuse to do an override for a clearly marked ad item and whom will twist the wording of an ad so the ad does not have to apply to your purchase even though it clearly does.

    Did I mention prices, I find it funny people on here are calling Kmart a “discount store”, their prices are double Walmart’s prices in many cases, and if you can find me one not on sale item or clearance item that is priced lower than Walmart’s then I will be impressed.

  25. esc27 says:

    I tried to shop at Sears yesterday. One foot in the open door and a security guard gruffly says, “we’re closed.” One hour later I go into The Home Depot and a greeter warmly says “Welcome, how are you.”

    I respect that Sears has a right to close early on Sunday’s, but they could be a lot nicer about it. A simple “I’m sorry but we are currently closed, our regular hours are…” would have gone a long way toward re-enforcing any store loyalty on my part. At the end of the day I had a significantly more positive experience with their competitor.

  26. Rogersda76 says:

    Sears is close to losing my business as well.

    On July 10 I ordered a new dishwasher and stove from Kenmore’s website (which is basically ordering from Sears). Upon checking out I was prompted to select my delivery/install date. The system let me select the 11th of July, so I did. It would be nice to get the old stuff out and the new stuff in so that the last bit of remodeling can be done.

    After completing the order Kenmore/Sears’ system decided that the 11th of July was not good, and gave me a delivery/install date of 26 July (my email receipt still showed the 11th, however). What? I was not allowed to change that date, and I wasn’t even prompted to ask if this date would be o.k. for my schedule.

    For 13 days I waited for someone to call me to confirm the actual delivery time. Kenmore/Sears site states that this would happen 72 hours prior to the delivery date. Having heard nothing I went ahead on the 24th and sent a tweet to Kenmore/Sears asking when I would hear from someone. To Sears credit a person from corporate relations finally called me. After a pleasant conversation regarding the ordering process, I was told that Company XYZ would be installing my appliances on the 26th between 8:00am and 11:45am.

    The afternoon on the 25th Company XYZ finally calls and tells me that delivery will be on the 26th between 12:00pm and 4:00pm. So, this is a problem…I have to drive and pick-up my daughter around that time. I ask that they really try to show early so I can do that.

    On the 26th, I finally call Company XYZ at 3:00pm. After chatting with them they tell me that the installer will be picking-up the appliances at the local Sears depot, and should be at the house by 3:30. I need to get my neighbor to watch the house while I go get my daughter.

    Alas, before I could do anything, Company XYZ calls me and lets me know that the Sears depot does not have both appliances. As a result there will be no installation today.

    I call the person at corporate relations (she asked me to call her if there were issues). I was polite, but a bit upset that not only did Sears change the install dates, but that they couldn’t even deliver the appliances on the date they promised.

    So as of today, 30 July, at 3:30pm I still do not have a delivery/install date. I have not heard from Company XYZ. The person from corporate relations is supposed to call me tomorrow.

    But, they do have my $2000+ dollars.

  27. Golfer Bob says:

    Just watched Breaking Bad. Hire a company to come in and tent the house for extermination / fumigation. Everyone has to get out for several days, cancel the job, then the rightful owners can get back in, change the locks and tell the squatting criminals to go pound sand.

    • Golfer Bob says:

      Funny. Comments spell check themselves now, but still pop into the wrong thread. Sorry.

    • Golfer Bob says:

      Funny. Comments spell check themselves now, but still pop into the wrong thread. Sorry.

  28. do-it-myself says:

    I’m extremely perplexed as to how Sear/Kmart are still in business. Who shops there? (Btw, I caught myself before my reply was inappropriately posted in the roller coaster article. Why did it default to there when I was signing in…here?)

  29. poehitman says:

    The reason I don’t buy at Sears is PRICE. They are WAY overpriced on most things. Their problem in my opinion is that Sears is there to sell Craftsman tools and do auto repair for old farts. The rest of the store is just incidental and isn’t paid attention to much. They are beginning to dump off parts of it too. They seem to be getting rid of their video games section, however pathetically small it was. Their problem is they never bothered to keep the prices current. What I mean by that is that the older a game gets, it’s supposed to come down in price. But Sears rarely lowers prices on older games. Our mall Gulf View Square Mall in New Port Richey, FL has a Gamestop in it as well (and strangely enough, one in the dying shopping center beside the mall that once had Target and Circuit City as well, both of which are now gone. Only Toys-R-Us and Staples remain). Why would I buy anything in Sears when I can go elsewhere in the mall and get it at cheaper prices in a nicer store. I never noticed any problems with upkeep in the stores or signage (though our Sears is only a single story). The only time I ever buy anything at Sears is during a sale or an item on clearance.

  30. vliam says:

    Not so long ago, I was a store manager at a retailer not unlike Sears.

    If I spent $2-3 per sq ft in maintenance, I would have been fired long before I quit. Retailers are squeezing every penny from their stores. It’s an unsustainable race to the bottom. These stories are going to keep coming.

  31. oldwiz65 says:

    The local Sears store at the Burlington Mall in Mass is clean, and a decent place to shop. It’s not as fancy or “in-your-face” as some of the stores, but it is a nice place to shop. And they don’t blast your ears with 95db music like some of the other mall stores.

  32. jbus07 says:

    I worked for a company that handled Sears’ and Kmart’s signage and lighting for a time, and I can say that these stores are often have poor signage and brand visibility because they are incredibly cheap. I can recall several cases involving Sears in which we sent crews on emergency calls due to signage falling off of storefronts, and they would opt to just pay for the sign to be put aside rather than reinstalled correctly. They were also notorious for having surveys of sites done to evaluate signs that needed to be repaired and fixed, then only calling back to have the work completed when a District or Regional Manager was set to visit so it didn’t come out as being an “unnecessary spend” from their store budget otherwise.

  33. timp says:

    Sears charges a 15% restocking fee on virtually everything they sell. No matter if the product is opened, unused, unwanted, wrong size or whatever.

    Couple that horrible, horrible return policy with the dirty stores and poor customer service, is it any wonder they are in bad shape.

    The real wonder is how they have managed to last this long.

    Our family used to shop almost exclusely at Sears, but since the wretched return policy went into effect, we have not stepped foot inside one of their stores.