An article in the recent Forbes magazine explains the Sears will
gradually disappear. The real estate occupied by the company is worth
more than the stock value. Thus it makes sense to sell of pieces to
recover the value of the real estate. It cannot be done all at once due
to taxes. Much of the gain can be used ot offset loses from K-mart. I
realize that much of this newsgroup considers Sears products to be
greatly inferior. Many of us initially purchased Craftsman tools when
that was all we could afford.
The head of K-mart is not a man who has made his name in the retail
markets. He has made his reputation by being a trader.
Sears makes emough money through the Sears Bank, their real estate
company, Lens Crafters and other interests, they probably don't give a
shit if they sell another tool. Here's a hint. When I was in China a
couple years ago, there was a big building with the name Craftsman on
it. Supposedly, where Craftsman products are made. You'd have a better
chance of getting into a nuclear plant, because the Craftsman plant is
where they have their child and slave labor making clothes, not tools.
Probably was such a building--if you read the fine print it was probably the
"happy joyful lucky craftsman company" or some such (love those Oriental
names) and had nothing whatsoever to do with Sears.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
We have a lot of child labor here in Republic of Cali, so it's a none
issue. Would you consider getting paid 90 cent per day for brick laying
in Asia slavery? Factory workers get paid a bit more tho.
Nowadays that theory really dosen't hold water.
My 20+ year old Craftsman items were purchased because I thought they
were better than department store tools at the time of purchase. The
Craftsman stuff was usually MORE EXPENSIVE than a typical department
store brand, not, "the only thing I could afford". I truly THOUGHT
that I was buying a high quality tool.
I also had a Sears credit card, as they gave them to everyone,
including 18 year olds who barely had a job. Back then, Visa denied
those folks. Sears sold only Craftsman, no DeWalt, Makita, etc...
Also, "pro" brands, like DeWalt, Bosch, Porter Cable, and Makita were
only sold by "tool dealers", often at list price.
Competition from home centers, Al Gore's Internet, and among the
brands themselves, changed all of that. 9.6v Makita drills are the
same price now as they were 15 years ago, but are paychecks sure
Over the years, I've realized that I often was buying overpriced
department store quality tools. Craftsman of the late 70's and 80's
was Black and Decker department store crap, but came with a blow
Nowadays I see two levels of Craftsman tools:
* The "Pro" version, such as the rebadged Bosch router. With today's
BORGs and online tool sources, the Craftsman version is often more
expensive than the native brand version. This tool is marketed at
the guy who remembers when Craftsman was a good tool, but has explored
the other brands.
* The "yuppie" version, usually aimed at some non-existent price
point. These tools are Kmart quality, with bells, whistles, and Bob
Vila to sell it for slightly more than the Kmart version. With
experience, the bells and whistles usually prove to be gimmicks. If
it's more expensive, it must be better, right? They fall in between
the cheapie and the lower-end home center version. Companies like
Ryobi seem to pretty adept at meeting these challenges, with a better
quality homeowner quality tool.
Many of us "tool snobs" have a pile of Craftsman tools that suck, and
in some cases are totally unfit for the job. These tools have been
replaced with usable examples, so we spent much more in the long run.
I try really hard to help others avoid doing the same Someone with
limited funds is better off with pawn shop name brand tools.
Screw me once, shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me! <G>
Union jobs, at least here in the Northeastern USA.
On big commercial construction projects, all new tools are usually bid
into the job. At the end of the job, the trades people pick by
seniority what they want. Much of it goes to pawn shops, as these
folks already have what they want from other jobs.
The rest of them are stolen from jobsites, vehicles, or home shops, or
pawned by legitimate owners with financial problems.
On big union commercial jobs it's apparently easier and cheaper to buy
all new small power tools and abandon it at the end of the job.
During the job, the security people take a "nothing leaves" rule.
Between jobs, it's difficult and expensive for contractors to store
the stuff. This might also be a regional thing.
I guess this would be how you buy enough DeWalt for a free Corvette.
FWIW, I didn't believe this story the first time I heard it, but it's
been confirmed by many independent sources.
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