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Sears demise and what it means to Belleville

Opinion Article.

Sears Bankruptcy and eventual closure read like an idiom, or at least partly. I heard it on the grapevine the announcement made October 10, 2017. I am undoubtedly not stealing anyone's thunder or letting the cat out of the bag. In fact, the writing has been on the wall for many years now. For this reason, no one should be surprised. Walking on thin ice for nearly two decades, losing market share to other box stores such as Best Buy, Canadian Tire, Walmart, Costco, and even Sleep Country. Sears failed to evolve with the ever-changing trends. It was like not seeing the forest for the trees. I find it ironic that a company, who based itself as the innovator of catalog sales would miss the boat. They did institute e-commerce eventually in 1998, but some would say it was five years too late, as companies such as Amazon and eBay already had a four-year foothold and this became the last straw.

Sears decline could put on the heads of all those in charge at the time. Perhaps we should give the benefit of the doubt and that maybe they had a method to their madness. A company that probably became too arrogant for even itself, thinking they are the best thing since sliced bread. Relying on superior customer service, never known to cut corners and not too worried that their goods cost an arm and a leg. So caught up in itself, they forgot to jump on the bandwagon. In the heat of the moment, they couldn't cut the mustard and ultimately dropped the ball. The pending closures may on the surface look like the devil in disguise or a wolf in sheep's clothing. You won't see me sitting on the fence; I view this ominous black cloud with a silver lining and a blessing in disguise. I believe it was imminent and it wouldn't have mattered if those at the top were off one's rocker, or not playing with a full deck. I'm not going to beat around the bush; soon many other box stores will follow the same fate. I am going to take this announcement with a grain of salt and not cry over spilt milk because I believe the little guy will soon come out of this as a winner. As the Amazon's eat up every box store not willing to evolve, will ultimately make more and more room for the little guy. You will once again see the downtowns of every community be bursting with activity. The corporate brick and mortar being dissolved to online sales, leaving consumers to do old fashion shopping in their city cores. Making Ma and Pa specialty stores, cafes, restaurants, and boutiques the wave of the future.

Still, it's sad knowing a retail giant such as Sears, which part of the fabric for almost seventy years will soon be part of our past.

In Thirty years time, we will reminisce with our grandchildren the Sears Christmas Wish Book. Remembering making our parents aware of our Christmas gift options by dropping hints or leaving the page creased in the ideal location of the Catalog. This type of store indeed only comes once in a blue moon. We must always try to look for the positive and remember; when one door closes, another one opens. God only knows what will indeed be in our future. Only time will tell. One thing is for sure. When the doors close for the very last time, Elvis will have left the building.

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