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Why Did Sears Close its Remaining Auto Centers?


Joe Marconi

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I was a tech at Sears right after that happened.  Before the scandal they did everything from batteries to motor swaps.  after the scandal all we did was batteries, brakes, suspension and exhaust.  Their training was top notch and there were some good guys there but fear of future legal liabilities caused them to become one dimensional.  At a dealership all of the money is made on the service side so it's possible well run service could have saved Sears in a time when brick and mortars are dying. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
4 hours ago, Transmission Repair said:

Here's an ad out of the old Sears catalog.  This was waaay before baby seats and seat belts.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nO9OhyHJVT4hC1LVWx-uN-fLtWhTH-e_/view?usp=sharing

They didn't have enough space on this little ad to be thorough....   Here's the long form.

"Guards your child as you're busy driving through traffic.  Let's him sit, stand, kneel or sleep without disturbing the driver.  Prevents spills from sudden stops.   Protects him from falling out of the open window.  Heavy web harness attaches to the safety strap that snaps to the car seat frame.   Removes easily.  Also use as a walking harness.  Sturdy enough to use as a belt for instant discipline. For 1 to 10 year olds."  

I remember sleeping on the deck behind the back seat while on long drives.   It was roomy, but no tie downs there.

 

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1 hour ago, Transmission Repair said:

Thanks, Brian.  You appear to be a great marketer.  I love your location.  Is the car wash I see next door on Google maps part of your operation?  If so, I commend you.  Keep up the great work. 

Great marketer? LOL, no.  The only thing I'll give myself credit for is recognizing that I don't know what I'm doing regarding marketing and thus embarking on a path of copying what others are doing and have done. Can't go wrong copying success. By chance, I met a Houston based small business marketing company and hired him.   As a startup with little money coming in, it was a difficult decision to decide to move forward, but I knew that we needed to be known.  They say, your marketing piece must be seen 7 times before it's effective (so I copied this too).

Is that CarWash next door mine?  Thank heavens, NO!   The owner recently sold, but before that he was the most-depressed man I knew.  It's hard to make a living at $6/car.  He did zero marketing though.

I too grew up with 100% humidity and found Dallas to be arid and way better.   But our Mountains aren't as impressive as yours.

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On 2/21/2022 at 9:47 AM, NATURE said:

I was a tech at Sears right after that happened.  Before the scandal they did everything from batteries to motor swaps.  after the scandal all we did was batteries, brakes, suspension and exhaust.  Their training was top notch and there were some good guys there but fear of future legal liabilities caused them to become one dimensional.  At a dealership all of the money is made on the service side so it's possible well run service could have saved Sears in a time when brick and mortars are dying. 

I was also a tech at Sears at the time this happened. I recall them firing all the service writers one day and the rest of us all went into the office, you either stayed or were fired. It was crazy, but I got to stay. I had recently finished Hunter alignment school with Sears and was doing suspension and alignments all day. I went on and moved to the salesfloor and then into management under STG/Sears Tire Group (separated from the full line stores into its own group). I ran a couple of auto centers up to 2001. It was tires, batteries, brakes, suspension and alignments. Jiffy Lube was doing oil changes in our bays and some other maintenance services. It was never the same after that. In its prime, Sears Auto was a power house. 

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I am surprised that Fast Eddie Lampert’s name has not been mentioned. Sears was in bankruptcy and had definite trouble previous to his buyout but he did nothing to correct the problems and instead drove Sears and K-Mart into the ground. Icahn and Pep Boys may be this generations Fast Eddie and Sears.

I have dealt with NAPA and Carquest over the years and both have had their own small issues but they were still OK, focused at supplying parts to us, the automotive professional and not the DIY walk in consumer. In my opinion Carquest lost that focus since it was acquired by Advance. All NAPA locations were changed to Carquest in my area so I have not had dealings with NAPA for over six years and I am only able to comment about Carquest. Vehicles are becoming more complex by the minute, above and beyond the ability of the average weekend warrior yet it seems Advance still tries to cater to that crowd. Their profit margin with a DIY is better than dealing with us but their key DIY customer base is dwindling as technology increases and the back yards for the back yard mechanics disappear. Young people don’t get their hands dirty, they don’t want a house or a yard to maintain. New housing in my area is catering to this new mindset, young people want to live in multi-level large housing units near shopping, restaurants and public transportation. Another problem facing the aftermarket suppliers is the ever decreasing parts that are on today’s vehicle. No more points, condenser, cap, rotor, breather element, gas filer (in many cases), idler arms, pitman arms, control arm bushings..... spark plugs are still here but were replaced every 12K and now last 120K. LED lighting is killing light bulb sales. How many parts are only available from OEM or should only be sourced from OEM due to cost differences or quality differences. Yes, I said COST differences, I routinely see OEM parts are much more affordable (cost & list) than aftermarket Carquest parts (watch yourself on this issue because it could be embarrassing if you sell an aftermarket part for 50% more than an OEM part). Advance is big but so was Sears, they better refocus or the next generation will be comparing Advance to Sears 10 years from now.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      A recent study, done by Harvard Business School, concluded that the real problem with attracting and retaining employees has more to do with the workplace environment, not pay or benefits. While the study did find that an adequate pay plan and offering an attractive benefits package did help with recruiting and retention, it’s not enough to satisfy the needs of employees, especially those of front-line workers.
      The study also stated that in 2021, many companies were convinced that giving raises, sign-on bonuses, and other perks would solve the worker shortage problem and prevent people from quitting. However, this strategy did not work. So, what does work regarding attracting quality people and keeping them employed?
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      To attract and keep top talent requires creating a company that people feel proud to work for. You need to reach the hearts and minds of your employees. Become a leader that people are enthusiastic about working for. You want your employees bragging to their friends and family that your shop is a great place to work!
      Step one to attracting and retaining quality employees: Create an amazing workplace environment for your employees!  Trust me, happy employees make happy shop owners too!
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