Two stories related to the declining fortunes of the retail industry that I thought were worth noting:
1. Sears is selling off the Craftsman tool brand. My dad did all of his own auto and home maintenance, and he swore by his Craftsman tools. And why not: they had a lifetime warranty, no questions asked. (I remember going with him to a Sears at one point to exchange a socket wrench: he was trying to get a rusted bolt on a truck bumper unstuck, as I recall, and was using a length of pipe to get additional leverage. The wrench snapped in half before the bolt gave. And Sears didn’t even ask any questions. They just gave him a replacement socket wrench.)
But I haven’t been in a Sears store for years, and I’m not even sure that they still have the lifetime warranty on Craftsman tools. I’m not sure what my dad would be doing now: perhaps purchasing Snap-On instead, as I think they’ve become a little more available now. (You kind of had to know people in the 70s and early 80s, or work professionally as a mechanic, to get Snap-On tools.) This looks like a quick attempt at a cash infusion to prop up a dying company.
When I was a teenager, I spent a fair amount of time at Greenspoint Mall, and I (well, my family and I) shopped at the Foley’s.
Note I said “the Foley’s”. Not “the Macy’s”. Foley’s was a beloved regional brand that Macy’s bought and which they have proceeded to run into the ground.
Granted, it is hard to do retail these days, and it is hard to run a mall. Especially Greenspoint, which has changed considerably since my teenage years. (I have heard that it is now commonly nicknamed “Gunspoint Mall”.) As Mike the Musicologist, who is also familiar with the area, said when I informed him, “… seeing what’s become of Greenspoint and West Oaks, the better question is ‘What took you so long?'”
Maybe sometime real soon now, they can use what’s left of Greenspoint to film the big chase scene in that all-female remake of “The Blues Brothers”. I remember there being lots of space in that mall.