7 companies on the ropes in 2012

A sputtering economy makes the coming year that much tougher for companies struggling with changing technologies, fickle consumers and their own mistakes. Consider the plights of Sears, Barnes & Noble and these others.

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36Comments
Feb 13, 2012 1:06PM
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  After being in several Wal-Mart stores lately they look like they are going to become the next K-Mart   with a lack of help, Help that have not been trained,  registers with card readers that are not working, dirty floors and restrooms, one had a produce dept without  produce bags and were using the regular  grocery bags to sack produce........   To the Wal-Mart leaders-----If you want to stay on top it is more the customer than the shareholders.....is this how you make that stock go up????
Feb 13, 2012 4:58PM
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All of these companies are run by people who know nothing about the retail business. It's always money that comes first.  Sears used to be great because you knew that you were going to get the best stuff available and very good service, if you had a problem they would cheerfully refund your money. Now when you go into a Sears store it's hard to find a clerk to wait on you and the quality of products is not there anymore. Instead of raising the price on good stuff they have opted to go to cheaper, poor quality stuff just to keep the price down. Junk is junk, if you can get it cheaper who the hell cares. I've seen the same thing in restaurants. People go there because they like the food quantity and quality, when they cut either (or both) instead of raising the price, they seem suprised when no one goes there anymore.  Everyone knows prices always go up, it's too bad, but I'd rather pay more than eat crap.
Feb 13, 2012 4:51PM
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Shame to see Sears go maybe if people got out ot Walmart and went back to a good store things would get better.  Walmarts are dirty with no one to help waste of time.  Wake up America. 
Feb 16, 2012 5:16AM
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Kenmore sucks now anyhow. Just bought a new Kenmore washer a little over a year ago and thought it had a two year warranty. The thing breaks like a week ago through no fault of our own. A little plastic piece broke apart. It controlled the door that controlled the washer. Well I called sears they tell me its 200 bucks to fix because my warranty went out. I'm like what I thought all appliances there had a two year warranty the lady says no and that its general wear and tear so I will be billed for repairs. I kept trying to explain its a design error but the lady would not listen. She even asked me if I went to college for machines, because I'm a female she didn't expect it when I said yes I'm a mechanic. I got the part myself in the end and fixed it. The hastle and the assumption that I'm just a little housewife that doesn't know a thing about machines by customer service has made me think twice about ever using sears again. I wonder how many other people they have been screwing. Sears is selling of shotty appliances beware. Oh and our Sears lawnmower broke last year I repaired it myself but its not right for it to break after only owning it a couple of months.

Oh and I wrote them on my experience and never got a reply I feel like I dated a jerk and he didn't call. HAHA

Feb 16, 2012 8:28AM
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Worked for sears for 38 years and now I hate to go and avoid it when possible.Tried to BUY a big TV last year.Got there early Am. and no one at all in the department.Looked and 3-4 people were having a morning talk at the washer and drier dept.I boldly asked if "someone" could help me and of course no one could and was told the person in the TV dept wasn't in yet. So I went to BEST BUY and got my TV. sorry Sears.Even getting a 10% discount isn't worth it.
Feb 7, 2012 9:34AM
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read two negative articles about Netflix as I watched its' stock rise 70% in last month. 
Mar 13, 2012 6:50PM
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I worked at Sears during the last Christmas season. Sears is no longer interested in customer service. All they are interested in is pushing their rewards program and their extended warranty programs and their credit cards. You are required to sign up at least 30% of your customers for their rewards program. If you don't you are written up. It depends on how many people you sign up for their programs as to whether or not you can keep your job after the season. On a lot of returns it will take a supervisor approval to complete transaction, not a problem if you could find a supervisor. I have had customers waiting 10-20 minutes just for the approval. WITH CUSTOMER SERVICE THIS BAD WE NO LONGER NEED SEARS.
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Just a short note. Try to avoid getting a display model TV,  unless it is a real fantastic deal.

A display TV has been playing from the time the lights are flipped on, untill everyone has left at night. So the TV might be 1yr old, but it has had a few years of use.

Ken,  

 

Feb 13, 2012 12:44PM
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No great loss if Sears goes but some of their "exclusive" products like Kenmore would be missed.  Since Kenmore is made by someone else it would be nice if Sears would tell us where we could pickup their "exclusive" products.
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Hey  2cars, I did 37yrs. at Sears, repairing the stuff we sold. 

Nothing is the way it use to be.  Try to get help in the plumbing dept. at Home Depot.

And a lot of the stock is in wrong bin boxes.

  I tried to get cutting oil for my pipe threader, there was no one in dept. I couldn't find it with pipe material, I was then sent to Hardware, which referred me back to plumbing. It wasn't an emergency, so I tried another Home depot, got the same runaround.  And no  Satisfaction Guarantee.

Later I stopped at plumbing supply, of course they had it.

 

So you are back to two cars, It sounds like the kids have left the nest.  wish I was at that stage. We now have tree cars, soon it will be four.

I Still have an 18 & 16yr. old's at home, I'ts not exactly what I expected my retirement to be, but stuff happens.  Ken,   

  

Mar 13, 2012 1:11PM
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We, as a society asked for it. We wanted cheaper products and by god we got them made out of cheap material. We did this to our ALMIGHTY selves.
Feb 16, 2012 8:50AM
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It's no wonder Kodak will be going under.  They used to be the best all around but they have gone to a bunch of cheap crap in the past five years. (For an instance): I purchased their all in one package about 3 or 4 years ago and I had to call them to replace the print head 3 times right off the bat.  It still did not work and to this day it is sitting there not producing pictures.  I use it to make a copy once in a while. I have purchased a new lexmark printer which I am hooking  up shortly. Sorry Kodak but I am through with you.
Feb 16, 2012 7:13AM
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I also am one that would not shed a tear at Sears going away. All They want is for a Customer to buy the warranty. Even then good luck having something repaired. I live across town and my Refer went out and was told it would take 10 days to get a Guy out. Well the small Mom and Pop guy fixed it in 2 days and one of those was to overnight the part. BYE BYE Sears and no good riddens.
Feb 16, 2012 8:44AM
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For years we have had a Sears store in our town that has done nothing to the outside of the building the parking lot is huge and "there"  no attraction to the place to bring people in. Yes, they've remodeled the inside and put in cashiers booths at strategic places (front door, back door). Theft, and wages have played their part.  They have cut theIr help to keep more of the money (PROFIT) and over the years (not just Sears ) people have become less interested in big retail stores that don't provide qualified on the floor salespeople when help is needed.   I believe a shift in our "have and have not" (people) the move to the suburbs  has taken its toll on our town plus manufacturing issues. One more thing,  the OUALITY of the clothes and other products  that are sold.... with that, I reply ... stores,  keep buying and selling the crap from overseas its  biting you in the ... Thanks  for reading.
Mar 13, 2012 5:49PM
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  Is there any reason to go to Sears and K Mart anymore?? Not only a lousy shopping experience but other places do it better(Home Depot,Wal mart,Target,Meijer) to name a few...
Feb 16, 2012 8:49AM
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K-mart is insane with their warranties. A dear friend of mine purchased a flat screen Tv from them, warranty and all. The screen ended up doing some weird things with lines showing up everywhere and what do you know? They didn't honor the warranty. I was in Sears just the other day an the service was HORRIBLE. While helping me the service rep kept talking to his co-worker about how drunk he was the night before and other inappropriate things. I just said I'd rather go to Menards or another retailer that I know I will have to pay more but to me it would be worth it, not only for the service but for the quality of the product.
Mar 13, 2012 8:19PM
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WITH CUSTOMER SERVICE THIS BAD WE NO LONGER NEED KMART!!!!sad to said. I bought my huspand a Dickies pants for valentine days didn't fit need a biger size when to oakland location with the receipt to exchange the pants I was told that the store was closing we need a manager approvel I wait for the manager to come I explain to him what happen he told me go and get your size I did when back to customer service to do the exchange. the employee there is given me a hard time that we can not do the exchange because is more money I said I paid the different the pants that I bought was $22.00 and know I have to paid $24.00 she said no. I said please call the manager, same manager come over and said he can not help ME....How you want me do not be upset I told him that was the reason they are closing ... Where is CUSTOMER SERVICE and make more money for the company.......
Feb 16, 2012 9:17AM
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I can't believe Barnes & Noble is on the ropes. When doing a comparison on the e-readers the Nook Color is the best out of all the e-readers. I will have my Nook Color for one year in May and haven't had a single problem. It may cost $50 more, but not having any problems is well worth it. I would recommend the Nook Color to anyone. I hope Barnes & Noble will do better this year I actually like it.
Mar 13, 2012 9:43PM
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jss67

     For the most part I would agree with you, but this is my problem, I have been in retail for over 25 years and I have seen all of the changes. Here is the problem I have run into. The most my company pays is 7.64 per hour(min wage) for that amount of money it is not worth their effort to break a sweat. I lost more people to unemployment this past year because why work when you can make the same amount sitting around. Also now most companies do not hire full time to save expenses from the gov. I will agree that the work ethic of this younger generation leaves something to be desired, but we have nobody to blame but ourselves

Feb 13, 2012 8:40AM
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Some of the retailers on this list are victim not only to bad business practices such as said here, but also to consumers who will not pay for good products regardless of it's value. While there are some folks who will put their wallet where their mouth is, most will continue to ask for huge payback for little investment. A lifelong lasting appliance/TV for just a few dollars. That is why quite a few of those stores on the survival list have gone overseas for their store's inventory.
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