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Thread: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

  1. #1
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    Default The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    A reminder from a few years back. J. Haidt's short essay on the real-world perverse consequences of taking dingbats seriously --

    http://evonomics.com/the-ceo-of-sear...uf0jW9w39IzkjE
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    dumbest **** ever

    sears was already beyond saving though. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Capitalism working like it should. Do stupid sh!t, go out of business.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    The question for Sears is: How did they miss the comeback of mail-order?

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    "Head-in-the-sand" attitudes

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    The question for Sears is: How did they miss the comeback of mail-order?
    You think? Sears invented that business 125 years ago, and Amazon is almost exactly the same thing plus the internet.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    We ( my wife and I) built and ran a 'brick and mortar' flower shop. FTD and Teleflora were services which helped us do business. With the advent of '1-800-Flowers' and other similar services, local merchants took quite a hit - I suspect the same was / is true of Sears, J.C.Penney and other retailers with regard to Amazon or other online fulfillment operations.


    Rick

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    You think? Sears invented that business 125 years ago, and Amazon is almost exactly the same thing plus the internet.
    They had a massive distribution network. I grew up in a town of 1,200 people in northern Alberta, and we had a Sears catalog depot.
    Nosce te ipsum

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    \"A little too tall, coulda used a few pounds...\"

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Times change. Businesses keep up or they don't.

    I'm sure we can all think of lots of places that have gone out of business; both large and small.
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    dumbest **** ever

    sears was already beyond saving though. . .
    [QUOTE=hawkeye54;5927313]We ( my wife and I) built and ran a 'brick and mortar' flower shop. FTD and Teleflora were services which helped us do business. With the advent of '1-800-Flowers' and other similar services, local merchants took quite a hit - I suspect the same was / is true of Sears, J.C.Penney and other retailers with regard to Amazon or other online fulfillment operations.
    /QUOTE]

    Sears, like many existing businesses (Borders Books, or Blockbuster, anyone?) faced a challenge. 'Beyond saving' though is arguable. And I'd guess... incorrect. It was certainly going to take some smart and careful maneuvering, though, which is the opposite of what it got. Businesses are adapting, and Sears was set up in some important ways to do so as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    Times change. Businesses keep up or they don't.

    I'm sure we can all think of lots of places that have gone out of business; both large and small.
    True, as far as it goes, but not that simple. The details of how & why they succeed or don't is the devilish... and interesting... part.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Capitalism working like it should. Do stupid sh!t, go out of business.
    Indeed. They, like Alan Greenspan, took the wrong path. And paid the price.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    What was Sears' salary structure like compared to Amazon's?

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Lampert is still at it, finding new ways to screw things up.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/warrens.../#2a225dc1fd65


    I find it astonishing how many people are running companies who don't know why companies exist. The definitive paper was written in 1937, for heaven's sake.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nature_of_the_Firm

    https://tannutuva.org/2016/the-nature-of-the-firm/
    Last edited by johnw; 07-02-2019 at 01:20 PM.

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Odds that Mr Lampert is a sociopath?
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    What’s Sears?
    Fight Entropy, build a wooden boat!

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard38 View Post
    What’s Sears?
    You know, the place that used to sell good hand tools? And they'd take them back if they broke, no matter how horribly you'd abused them? I once took a spread-out 14mm open-end wrench back to Sears. The guy looked at it and asked me, 'How long a cheater bar were you using?' I smiled winningly and said, 'Oh, about six feet, maybe a little longer.' He rolled his eyes and pointed me to the shelf where I got a new one for free. (Rusted bicycle pedal, if you must know.)
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Left them a long time ago when they tried harder to sell you their extended warrantee than the product. And they missed the internet thing, poor corperate decisions.

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Quote Originally Posted by woodpile View Post
    Left them a long time ago when they tried harder to sell you their extended warrantee than the product. And they missed the internet thing, poor corperate decisions.
    I found it a symbol of their utter failure you could order a bandsaw blade that fit a sears bandsaw and have it delivered to your door from amazon the same day for less than Sears would sell you a bandsaw blade in the store. They didn't know what the heck they were doing.

    Every business fails, eventually. Sears didn't need to fail so quickly so fast. Much like local newspapers.

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan McCosh View Post
    The question for Sears is: How did they miss the comeback of mail-order?
    I posed this question to a co-worker who once worked for sears. While he was there, they let go of all their highest paid salesmen (the ones who sold the most) and the store he worked at paid their store manager bonuses based on the amount of money he saved the company. This meant the store was dark, cold in winter and hot in summer. They literally drove customers away by squeezing every penny they could.
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

    -Dalai Lama

  20. #20
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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    The last time Sears was profitable was when the Peace Conference in Versailles 100 years ago was signed. The OP is not aware Sears had been dying a slow death for a long long time.. now he would like to use this as a example of capitalism ....really?

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    "The results have been disastrous, in part because Lampert was ideologically committed to the metaphor of the invisible hand and the associated idea that people are purely selfish."

    Thatcherism and the sainted Ronnie at work.
    And in Australia embodied in an influential RW think tank still exeunt.

    They hate unions, but applaud business groupings that work the same way.

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Quote Originally Posted by bobbys View Post
    The last time Sears was profitable was when the Peace Conference in Versailles 100 years ago was signed. The OP is not aware Sears had been dying a slow death for a long long time.. now he would like to use this as a example of capitalism ....really?
    This is simply false. Sears was doing very well though most of the 20th century. While Lampert wasn't the only reason for its demise, he certainly was a spectacularly bad manager and put many of the final nails in the coffin. And yes, it really is a perfect example of capitalism working like it's supposed to; do stupid sh!t, you'll go broke, and somebody who does a better job will get the business.

    I realize that answering bobbys is about as useful as arguing with my cat, but sometimes I weaken.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    This is simply false. Sears was doing very well though most of the 20th century. While Lampert wasn't the only reason for its demise, he certainly was a spectacularly bad manager and put many of the final nails in the coffin. And yes, it really is a perfect example of capitalism working like it's supposed to; do stupid sh!t, you'll go broke, and somebody who does a better job will get the business.

    I realize that answering bobbys is about as useful as arguing with my cat, but sometimes I weaken.
    For those who still read his 'stuff'... I commend the 'drive-by correction' style of engagement. It doesn't hurt to point out the smell of cowflop. I just recommend against wading into it.
    David G
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    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    I miss Sears. It was a good place to get many things. Shopping on Amazon is just not the same as going to a big department store and wandering around looking at stuff. In Canada we had Eaton's too and we still have The Bay but I believe it struggles too. In 1975 or thereabouts, we would go down town and park near one of them and walk from one to the other - a few blocks. There were always other people doing the same and there were stores in between that we would stop into - things like record stores (remember them?). Times do not always change for the better.

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Quote Originally Posted by Art Haberland View Post
    I posed this question to a co-worker who once worked for sears. While he was there, they let go of all their highest paid salesmen (the ones who sold the most) and the store he worked at paid their store manager bonuses based on the amount of money he saved the company. This meant the store was dark, cold in winter and hot in summer. They literally drove customers away by squeezing every penny they could.
    Oh it's worse. Most retailers think their structure of pitting store managers against each other in a race to make money - daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly - is a good thing. And it's the structure that's killing them in the race against online sales right now.
    Last edited by Hugh Conway; 07-02-2019 at 08:38 PM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    And yes, it really is a perfect example of capitalism working like it's supposed to; do stupid sh!t, you'll go broke, and somebody who does a better job will get the business.
    Except that Eddie Lampert is far from broke. He made money on the deal
    Although current Sears shareholders have lost almost their entire investment, tens of thousands of employees have lost their jobs, and creditors — including the U.S. government — and others are owed $11 billion, Lampert has still made nearly $1.4 billion to date from his Sears investment, a number that has never been calculated before

    , everyone else got screwed https://www.institutionalinvestor.co...lars-Or-Did-He

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Conway View Post
    Except that Eddie Lampert is far from broke. He made money on the deal.
    If there were any justice in this world, Lampert would be sleeping under bridges and standing on a street corner during the day with a 'please help' sign.

    I'd bet at pretty long odds that he's a sociopath
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: The Sears failure - and Ayn Rand

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post

    I realize that answering bobbys is about as useful as arguing with my cat, but sometimes I weaken.
    dumbest **** ever
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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