Stock Analyst: Sears Is No Longer ‘Viable As A Retailer’

You might not realize it when looking at our coverage, but we aren’t cheering for Kmart and Sears, the stores of Sears Holdings, to go out of business. The company’s continued survival is impressive, and sort of a surprise, but one stock analyst thinks that the company won’t survive without doing something drastic. [More]


Sears Holdings To Accelerate, Expand Planned Store Closings

The only bit of good news in the most recent financial report from Sears Holdings, parent company of Sears and Kmart, is that the sibling stores had better sales during the holiday season than last year, and not just because they kicked off Christmas in mid-September. Unfortunately, the news isn’t very good other than that: the company is still losing money in its retail business, and plans to speed up its planned store closings. [More]

Fake store, real Kmart.

The Pilot Of NBC’s ‘Superstore’ Was Filmed Inside A Real Kmart

What happens when a TV production team wants to make a show set in a big-box discount store, but can’t build an entire store set because they’re only filming a pilot episode? To film “Superstore,” a new (and funny) show on NBC, they lightly remodeled a Kmart store in Burbank, California, and used it as their set… while the store remained open. [More]

Why Are So Many People Reporting Kenmore Oven Door Explosions?

Why Are So Many People Reporting Kenmore Oven Door Explosions?

Let’s start by pointing out the obvious: oven doors are not supposed to explode. They’re supposed to keep hot air in while letting us view the food cooking inside. Yet hundreds of customers with Kenmore ovens have reported shattered doors to retailer Sears, and Sears and the Consumer Products Safety Commission have reacted with a collective shrug. Past one year, issues like this are officially the customer’s problem. [More]

(Mark Clifton)

Sears Hometown Opens Stores Within Other Stores

Sears and JCPenney are two department stores with more space than they need and a need to get more people in the door. They’ve started opening stores within stores, or subdividing their space and leasing part of it to other retailers. Now a member of the Sears family that has gone off on its own is trying this strategy to get a retail foothold: Sears Hometown is opening a store in an Ace Hardware. [More]

Mike Mozart

Tap Or Scan Here To Pay: Know Your Mobile Payment Apps

Mobile wallets and payment apps: they’re supposed to make it simpler and easier to pay for stuff, or at least let us grab lunch when we’ve forgotten our wallet. Yet there’s now a wide variety of payment apps out there, including systems that are only for one brand of phone (Samsung Pay, Apple Pay) or only for one retailer (Walmart Pay). Which can you use for what purpose? Which is compatible with ancient smartphones? [More]

(Nicholas Eckhart)

If Kmart And Sears Stores Close Without A National Press Release, Does Anyone Notice?

Last week, department store chain Macy’s announced its holiday season results and its plans to close 40 stores in the coming months. Shoe retailer Finish Line announced plans to close 150 stores by the year 2020. Yet what you never hear about in the national news anymore is how many stores Sears Holdings, corporate parent of Sears and Kmart, is planning to close, even as they continue to shut down underperforming stores. [More]

Report: Kohl’s Considers Going Private, Breaking Up Company To Prevent Takeover

Report: Kohl’s Considers Going Private, Breaking Up Company To Prevent Takeover

Middle-class consumers just aren’t as into department stores as they used to be. Experts speculate that this is because off-price and outlet stores caught on during the recession, and shoppers simply don’t want to go back. Even staying open for 170 hours straight wasn’t enough to drag Kohl’s out of a slump, and the company’s leaders worry that they could be taken over while their stock price is low. [More]

(Montgomery County Planning Commission)

Fewer Middle-Class Consumers Means Fewer Midrange Mall Anchors

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, there was a deeply symbolic changeover at the King of Prussia mall in the suburbs of Philadelphia. What used to be a large Sears department store has assumed its final form: it’s part Dick’s Sporting Goods store and part Primark, a fast fashion retailer out of Ireland. That’s just one mall that demonstrates a trend: the institution of the anchor store is dying out in malls. [More]

Kmart Coupon Excludes Almost Everything Kmart Sells

Kmart Coupon Excludes Almost Everything Kmart Sells

Coupon exclusions are a delicate balance. When you exclude too few things, customers take advantage of the loopholes, like when Best Buy e-mailed a $50 off $100 purchase gift card and forgot to exclude gift cards. If you exclude too many things, customers will probably not bother to use the coupon at all, since they can’t tell what they can use it for. [More]

Bill Lewis

24 Stories We Covered In 2015 That We Never Saw Coming

The following is a true story: One day, two Consumerist staffers were chatting about the work day. One said, “I can’t believe I’m writing about the legal ramifications of butt-dialing.” The other replied, “We should probably remember this conversation for a year-end story about things we didn’t expect to ever write in 2015.” A calendar alert was made, and our future selves were duly reminded. [More]

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Good News: Malls Where Rich People Shop Aren’t Dead

We’ve shared a lot of stories about dead and dying malls, and we wouldn’t blame you if you thought that the American mall is an endangered creature. Only it isn’t: high-end malls are doing just great. It’s malls in middle-class communities geared to middle-income customers that are suffering from high vacancy rates and failing tenants. [More]

(Sears Holdings)

Is The Origin Story For NORAD’s Santa Tracker A Cold War Lie?

Tomorrow, newscasters across the country will share information about the whereabouts of Santa Claus, usually based on data from NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), the military entity that monitors aerospace above the United States and Canada. This Santa-tracking effort is now celebrating its 60th anniversary, and its origin story is a feel-good Cold War fib. [More]

Which Retailers Have Changed Their Return Policies This Holiday Season?

Which Retailers Have Changed Their Return Policies This Holiday Season?

While it’s always important to keep a store’s return policy in mind when you shop, during the holiday season, return policies are extra important. That’s what happens when we give gifts that other people may not want. Every year, ConsumerWorld’s Edwin Dworsky compiles a list of major retailers’ return policies, comparing them to each other and to previous years’ policies. What do stores have planned for remorseful buyers and giftees in 2015 and early 2016? [More]

30 Online Retailers Agree To Stop Selling Toy Guns That Look Like The Real Thing To New York Residents

30 Online Retailers Agree To Stop Selling Toy Guns That Look Like The Real Thing To New York Residents

After an investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a long list of online retailers that sold authentic-looking toy guns through Amazon.com have now agreed to stop peddling the toys to state residents. [More]

Groups Call On AmEx, Chase, Citi, Toyota, Others To Stop Forcing Customers To Sign Away Their Legal Rights

Groups Call On AmEx, Chase, Citi, Toyota, Others To Stop Forcing Customers To Sign Away Their Legal Rights

Once upon a time, if a company wronged a customer — not just by screwing up an order or having poor customer service, but by actually breaking the law — that customer could file a lawsuit and try to hold the company accountable. And if the company wronged lots of customers in the same way, they could join together in a class action. Now, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, companies can get away with breaking the law by simply including a few handy lines of text in their customer agreements and contracts. But just because the company can use this “get out of jail free” card, doesn’t mean it should. [More]

(Hannah <3)

Which Stores Are Open On Thanksgiving And Black Friday, And When?

There are two reasons why you might want to know which stores are open or closed on Thanksgiving Day this year: you want to go shopping, or you want to know which stores to boycott (or at least vaguely scorn) because they choose to open on the holiday. Whatever you’re interested in doing, here are the hours during which you can stop by the store and do it. [More]

Some Shopping Malls Forcing Stores To Open On Thanksgiving

Some Shopping Malls Forcing Stores To Open On Thanksgiving

Everyone knows that a handful of major retailers now choose to open on Thanksgiving, but most smaller businesses have remained closed on the holiday — whether it was out of a desire to enjoy the day, or simply because the extra expense of paying people to work on Thanksgiving wasn’t worth the few hours of additional sales. But now some shopping mall operators are spoiling the holiday for their smaller tenants by forcing them to open up on Thanksgiving. [More]