South Dade News Leader: Doris D Meneses

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Doris D Meneses

Friday 10/19/2018
No...Not Them Too

The news came out this week that Sears Roebuck was filing for bankruptcy.

Richard Sears was an agent of the Minneapolis and St. Louis railway station in North Redwood, Minnesota. Sears purchased a shipment of watches - unwanted by a neighboring Redwood Falls jeweler - he sold the watches at a nice profit to other station agents up and down the line, and then ordered more for resale.

Alvah C. Roebuck was a watch repairman hired by Mr. Sears to do watch repair. In 1893, Sears, Roebuck and Company was founded and their products were jewelry and watches. With such success, the duo soon added other products and thanks to volume buying, to the railroads and post office, and later to rural free delivery and parcel post, they offered a happy alternative to the high-priced rural stores.

For the past 132 years, Sears Roebuck has been a staple in many homes. As a matter of fact, between 1908 and 1940, Sears Roebuck sold home kits which allowed a family to build their dream home.

Over that time Sears designed 447 different housing styles, from the elaborate multistory Ivanhoe, with its elegant French doors and art glass windows, to the simpler Goldenrod, which served as a quaint, three-room and no-bath cottage for summer vacationers. (An outhouse could be purchased separately for Goldenrod and similar cottage dwellers.) Customers could choose a house to suit their individual tastes and budgets.

As a young child, I remember my Mom working at the Sears catalog store in our small town. Many families could not get to the larger cities to the big stores, so these catalog stores became crucial.

Do you remember paging through the famous “Wish Book”? Oh, how I waited for that catalog to come. Page after page of toys that I dreamed about. Could Santa bring me that new doll? How I longed to be like the children and families in that book. “Mom…Dad…can’t we all have matching pajamas like they do?”

I was the recipient of many catalog choices throughout the years because after all, Sears carried the “Chubby” sizes and boy…I was chubby. Mom would order my school clothes from the catalog and then we would have a fitting session to see what Chubby size fit.

Who didn’t have a Kenmore product? This was Sears brand and everyone dreamed of owning one.

What has

happened to Sears?

Many say Amazon has killed businesses such as this. Everyone shops from their armchair however isn’t that what we did with the Sears catalog?

I also have another connection to Sears as Mr. Wonderful worked for Sears as an electronics/television repairman from the time he graduated high school til the late 1980’s. I worked for Sears as well for two different stints. Prior to getting married I worked at the Maintenance Agreement office in Opa Locka. When the new Sears store opened in Homestead, I took the job of head cashier prior to going to work for the school system.

Personally, I like to go to a store and see an appliance prior to buying it and what a better place to do it. Over the past two years we have purchased a refrigerator, patio set, trash compactor and double ovens from Sears. I liked that I could go and physically pick out these large purchases, sit in the chairs, open the refrigerator…not look at them online. I for one will be very disappointed if they close completely.

How can Sears be saved? I just don’t know. Maybe they should bring back their catalog? I’d flip through the pages and maybe order…would you?

Posted in Opinion, Columnists, Doris d meneses on Friday, October 19, 2018 2:07 pm. Comments (0)


Doris has been inviting readers to, "Walk in My Shoes," for several years. She shares with us her unique, "local" opinion, while raising a few eyebrows along the way. Walk with Doris and enjoy her love of the neighborhoods, events, community groups, and most of all, the people of South Dade.

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