Curious......any scuttlebut as to these closing????
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Link from USA Today about that.
I'm surprised Sears is still open at Westgate. I haven't been to a Sears in over a decade but every time I am in that area the parking lot is empty. I think Sears owns the real estate and I'm surprised they just don't sell it, as booming as that area is they would make more of a profit off it from the real estate gain than they would operating the store. If it is being leased by Sears the property owner would be able to make a nice profit by offering Sears a lease buyout and demo'ing the building and selling the land or using it for other retail.
With Macy's closing in Sandusky that mall will probably be another Woodville, Southwyck or Northtown in a few years.
Yeah, Sears is a puzzle to me. I pay a credit card bill there so I visit once a month. The merchandise assortment is flat-out strange for anyone who knows retail (or fashion ;) -- stuff like non-discounted Christmas pajamas still on the shelves in April.
They eliminated the "better" clothing for women in favor of having a Land's End department. Probably a good business decision, but not everyone wants to look like a Vermont housewife all the time.
I know department stores overall have been able to disguise their decline because in many mature malls, they either own their space or signed 40-year leases at very favorable terms. Their only costs to keep a huge old store open would be labor (a multitude of part-timers always scrambling for more hours) and utilities. The national HQ takes care of advertising, financing the inventory, redecorating, etc.
I sometimes wonder if all the Sears stores are just bait for hooking people into a financial relationship with the parent company. During the last year or so, the sales clerks spend a lot of time explaining to each customer how she would benefit from signing up for this-and-that. If you look closely these days, the stores have signs about "member deal" and "member price" and "special member event." Perhaps they figure that if it works for Costco, it could work at Sears. No thanks.
Having said all that, after a yearlong search for a new high-end refrigerator, I ended up getting one from that very Sears. So go figure :-)
My parents are Sears devotees, as a lot of their generation is (in their 70's). I used to shop for tools, back when Craftsman meant something. Their hand told are fine, but their power tools have been declining in quality for years. I had a table saw fail on me just after a year and that was the final straw for me. Now they've sold Craftsman completely.
Despite being a seldom shopper and a proponent of progressive development, I think it's cool that the westgate sears is still open. It's been around since 1962? It might currently be Toledo's longest continuously running department store. I like the retro exterior, whose 60s monolith style was the model for the newer stores across the street. If corporate wasn't so broke, they could do a full renovation for the inside.
I bought a desk chair from them a couple years ago and an Ultra HD player around black friday. With their cash back points and a $20 coupon, they had the lowest price - better than best buy, amazon, etc. If you do an online order, you can check in with their app and someone will bring it out to you. It was very convenient. I didn't even have to enter the building.
Yes, it's very cool to have not one but two old-timey department stores at Westgate. Elder-Beerman also has a pebbly, midcentury exterior.
When I first came to Toledo, I told my contacts elsewhere that I was enjoying the benefits of a 1975 lifestyle: walking to the library, multiple small markets competing for my grocery dollar, ethnic pastries available in many places, being on a first-name basis with the neighborhood mechanic, and the convenience of having good old-fashioned department stores, freestanding, not attached to a bigass mall :-)
I'm still (pretty much) living the dream!