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Montgomery Ward and Sears (STA BREAKING NEWS and ARCHIVES)

by chazzz @, USA, Friday, May 12, 2017, 21:37 @ pragnos

I also have an auto battery charger I bought years ago when a local Montgomery Wards retail store was closing. It works just fine, though I do not use it often.

My grandparents on my Mom's side (their grandkids called them Mamaw and Papaw) were poor farmers and in Mississippi and Mamaw worked at a shirt factory sewing Van Husen shirts. They didn't buy a lot but they always got a Montgomery Ward catalog. They also had an outhouse when I was young and when the Montgomery Ward catalog came in the old one suffered the ultimate indignity - It went out to the outhouse. It gave you reading material and wiping material. The glossy pages were not very comfortable - the index pages were most comfortable being printed on plain pulp paper.

My dad said Mamaw and Papaw got the Montgomery Ward catalog instead of Sears because Sears required you either pay for the catalog (they refunded the catalog price with your first order) or that you be a regular purchaser. Montgomery Ward was not so strict about that in those days (about 1960).

Dad told me that during WW2 Montgomery Ward actually had more stores than Sears. He said that when war ended Montgomery Ward assumed the boom days were over and closed up a bunch of their stores while Sears kept expanding.

Like it or not, I fear that Sears and J C Penny's is ultimately going the way of Montgomery Ward before it. Dad worked for Sears and he had told me that during its heydays in the 1960's and 1970's that Sears made modest profits on the sale of their products, but they made the big profit off their credit cards and revolving charge purchases. They got out of that and sold off those operations a long time ago - Discover Card is former Sears heritage from the first time they converted their internal charge cards to a general purpose charge card which was Discover. I understand that financial services is risky and I suppose that's why Sears got out of their in-house financing. Or maybe it was something they sold off to try to expand or rescue the company in a earlier time.

Nothing is constant except that things change. You either learn to anticipate and react to the changes or you get run over by the changes. Sears was a giant in its day and has lasted as long as it has because of that foundation and the good people who had worked there. But their base, the US middle class is under a lot of stress and had to move much of its shopping to Walmart to save money and to Amazon to save time.


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