Oh Sears…I Wish You Well

I just heard that Sears is closing a bunch of stores throughout the U.S. this year and it’s made me…well…sad.

braWhen I was a kid in upstate New York, Sears was a shopping mainstay. At age 12, I went there to get my first bra. A training bra. (Yes, there are such things!) I didn’t need a bra, but I wanted one. Desperately. So my cousin Carol and I went together and tried on various bras in the dressing rooms. All giggles. And I bought one. 28 AAA.

I got other things at Sears too. One Christmas I bought Thingmaker goop (google it) for my brothers, perfume for my mom and aftershave for my dad. And another year my dad bought my mom two pretty purple glass vases for their anniversary. Not sure whatever happened to them.

And what about the Christmas Wish Book that arrived in the mail every fall? Good grief I was soooo happy when that came. (This was pre-PC/cell phone/internet days. Trust me when I say the Wish Book was a godsend.) I spent hours with this book. Hours. Dog-earring so many pages.

1971 wish book

Now I live in California and we had a Sears three miles down the road. The store was run-down in a cracked linoleum/dirty carpet way, but I went there from time to time for clothes for my daughters. I bought baby OshKosh B’Gosh overalls and socks and later, it was the first port of call for jeans.

About five years ago the store closed when its property was sold for a “mixed-use” development. So Sears has not been part of my life for a while and I hadn’t thought about it one way or the other till now, in this year of over 50 store closings. Then I discovered that in part, I am one of the reasons they are closing. This excerpt is from “Business Insider”, written by Hayley Peterson, 2/8/16:

Sears is losing some of its most loyal customers. The department store has traditionally attracted female shoppers aged 55 and older, but that demographic is now choosing to shop elsewhere….In fact, most women would now rather shop at Goodwill than at Sears, according to the survey.

Oh dear, oh dear. Sorry Sears. I feel like I have been a fair-weather friend. But the truth is I won’t drive 15 miles in heavy traffic to shop at you. So thanks for the memories and I wish you well.

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