This morning in the local paper there was an article about the impending failure of Sears. It was kind of the writer's love of a Lands' End shirt and what happened to his brand. At one time, Land's end (notice the apostrophe is in two different locations so far) It seems like at one time you could buy Lands' End clothing not in Sears. The Majority stockholder bought the Land's End brand and they started to sell that brand in Sears. The Board has recently spun the brand off and now you can still but the shirts at Sears and the stock separate from the Sears brand.
When I was a kid, every year about Labor day, our mother would get the Sears catalog out and the kids would get to "shop for Christmas." Mother would edit our selections and order the items for Christmas. She would charge it on her one and only credit Card (Sears) and pay the total off over the next 12 months. Sometime after Thanksgiving a package would arrive and mom would guard it like she was the head guard at Fort Knox. Knowing mostly what was in the package kept me from making a serious surreptitious entry in the box for the most part. Especially knowing that I could easily open the packages and re-tape shut them after they arrived under the Christmas tree.
It was pretty clear that Sears was our family store and we had a "Silver tone TV." lots of Craftsman tools and appliances. For the most part, the items from Sears were good quality, guaranteed and lasted as long as we expected. Things that didn't meet our expectations got returned and Mom got either a new item or her money back. The Guarantee was that if a Craftsman tool fails, they would replace it. The Sears focus was on the customer's needs and satisfaction.
If I was to try to explain why I think the Pundits are correct it stands out to me as the same failure of the United States. Instead of being the best store with a focus on the customer, Sears seems to be drifting into the buying and selling of Product lines and making money from those efforts. Why there is no longer the customer focus eludes me. I think the complexity of money has become the focus of the Board as well as our Government. If a Company and a Government has lifted and shifted their focus, is failure far behind?
I can understand how Sears is failing in this era of Wal*Mart, but I do not understand the failure of our people to fail to try to understand and change the way our country is headed. Why is it not clear to everyone that if you spend more than you take in you will significantly go broke. Why was the National Debt a major area that Obama criticized Bush for during the first Campaign and now he has significantly doubled it in his 6 years? If our Government spent as much time trying to build jobs as they do giving money away, we could surely change the direction of our Ship of State. It is estimated that if we cut our imports by 5% we could employ upwards of a million new jobs. Who are we afraid of when we don't try to protect our jobs. Perhaps people don't want good products like we expected from Sears and are just willing to throw things away rather than replace. Shame we can get people to realize that our Congress needs to be replaced rather than repaired. Last time I looked the approval rating of the Congress was just higher than the proverbial turd in the punch bowl. But not by much.
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