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Sears 4000 North Shepherd branch closing


dbigtex56

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53 minutes ago, dbigtex56 said:

Per The Leader News,  the 1949 Sears North Shepherd branch will be closing soon, sometime between July 11th and August 30, 2020.

 

The only surprising thing about this news is that it held out this long . . .

 

I think that leaves us with one Sears store (not counting Sears Hometown or appliance outlet stores) in the metro area, unless the Pasadena store is closing now too.

 

It looks like the Pasadena store survives... for now. It looks like this latest round of closings leaves about 5 Sears stores in the entire state of Texas. 

Edited by Houston19514
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On 7/5/2020 at 3:13 PM, Houston19514 said:

 

The only surprising thing about this news is that it held out this long . . .

 

Agreed, I've been expecting it to close for quite some time. But it still sucks. I've bought quite a few large appliances at that store, along with countless car batteries and gallons of paint, and the morning after a tropical storm I was at the door when they opened to buy a new wet vac. If you live in the area, they were hard to beat for convenience. 

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So many trips with Mom to the Sears on N. Shepherd to pick up items at the catalog counter (the Amazon of its day sort of). Probably everything I wore as a child came from that Sears store or the J. C. Penny's across Garden Oaks Blvd.

 

I remember a Henry J. automobile sitting inside the store at the front of the hardware section. Why it was there I couldn't tell you. By that time the car was about 10 years old. It wasn't junk but it didn't look pristine either IIRC.

 

One very unpleasant memory came from my mother: she and her sister had met for lunch then went into the Sears store to do some shopping afterward. That is when they learned that President Kennedy had been shot.

 

One pleasant memory was the candy counter in the middle of the first floor. The smell of fresh popcorn filled the air. Once in a while my sister and I would be treated to a bag of cherry or lemon sour candy from that counter.

 

I wonder what will become of that rather large piece of land.

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2 hours ago, Specwriter said:

I remember a Henry J. automobile sitting inside the store at the front of the hardware section. Why it was there I couldn't tell you. By that time the car was about 10 years old. It wasn't junk but it didn't look pristine either IIRC.


It may have been an unsold 'Allstate'. which was Sears' rebadged version of the Henry J.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allstate_(automobile)

From the article:

"Initially, the Allstate was offered only in the south and southwest United States, with plans to expand distribution as demand for the product grew. Sears locations selling Allstates included... Baytown, Texas; Beaumont, Texas; ... Houston, Texas...";
"...some Sears outlets tried to stock at least one sample of the car..."

Edited by dbigtex56
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1 hour ago, dbigtex56 said:


It may have been an unsold 'Allstate'. which was Sears' rebadged version of the Henry J.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allstate_(automobile)

From the article:

"Initially, the Allstate was offered only in the south and southwest United States, with plans to expand distribution as demand for the product grew. Sears locations selling Allstates included... Baytown, Texas; Beaumont, Texas; ... Houston, Texas...";
"...some Sears outlets tried to stock at least one sample of the car..."

 

Fascinating.  I had never heard of either the Henry J or the Allstate  before. 

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10 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

Fascinating.  I had never heard of either the Henry J or the Allstate  before. 


Their advertising campaign featured TV's most popular couple. Guess it wasn't enough.

Screenshot 2020-07-09 at 12.14.27 PM.png

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The Henry J was Kaiser - Frazer's entry into the small car market, a decade or so early.  It got its name from Henry J. Kaiser, a very successful West Coast industrialist who decided to get into the car business after building a ton of Liberty ships during the war.  There were a number of independent startups right after WWII, but the Big 3 got into a price war in the early 50s that wiped out the smallest, newest players pretty much immediately.  It took Packard and then Studebaker a bit longer, and caused the Hudson / Nash shotgun wedding that gave us American Motors.

Edited by mollusk
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12 hours ago, dbigtex56 said:


It may have been an unsold 'Allstate'. which was Sears' rebadged version of the Henry J.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allstate_(automobile)

From the article:

"Initially, the Allstate was offered only in the south and southwest United States, with plans to expand distribution as demand for the product grew. Sears locations selling Allstates included... Baytown, Texas; Beaumont, Texas; ... Houston, Texas...";
"...some Sears outlets tried to stock at least one sample of the car..."

Houston, I'm pretty sure you are correct about the care being an Allstate. It may have been a promotional of sorts for Allstate insurance which, IIRC,  was available from a manned desk under the escalator.

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On 7/10/2020 at 12:29 PM, mkultra25 said:

Henry Js were also quite popular among drag racers in the gasser classes.

 

So were the British Ford Anglias. Take a small, light body, stuff in a big powerful engine and voila, win some races! I still miss the popcorn at the N. Shepherd Sears - just the right amount of salt and butter for my taste. 😋

 

Anglia.jpg

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Once upon a time my fridge, washer, dryer, dishwasher, and one of the window units all had Kenmore labels, and all of my tools were marked "Craftsman."  I can still get Craftsman tools, but they no longer have "forged in USA" embossed on them (that said, the new ratchets' smoother design sure feels sexy).  The way Sears got hollowed out by asset strippers just really galls me.

Edited by mollusk
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3 hours ago, mollusk said:

Once upon a time my fridge, washer, dryer, dishwasher, and one of the window units all had Kenmore labels, and all of my tools were marked "Craftsman."  I can still get Craftsman tools, but they no longer have "forged in USA" embossed on them (that said, the new ratchets' smoother design sure feels sexy).  The way Sears got hollowed out by asset strippers just really galls me.

 

My fridge is a Kenmore that is still going strong after 21 years. I was afraid that it had finally given up the ghost a couple of months ago when the compressor suddenly quit and wouldn't restart, but after a visit from my trusty appliance repairman, a new relay, new fan motor, and coil cleaning, it's now running like it may last for another 21 years. Still have a Kenmore washer as well, which may well succumb to rust before mechanical failure. Most appliance repairmen will tell you that, like many other things, build quality on newer appliances is not nearly as good as it was on older ones. God forbid you should have to replace one of the printed circuit boards that have proliferated in new units, but hey, the eye-watering cost of doing so is a small price to pay for an LCD screen and the ability to connect your fridge to the internet, right?

 

The less said about the sell-off of the hallowed Craftsman brand, the better. It's my fervent wish that whenever the name of Eddie Lampert is uttered until the end of time, the distinct odor of sulfur and brimstone will manifest itself.   

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My Kenmore washer was even older - my parents bought it some time in the 70s or 80s - and working perfectly well until the nimrods doing my studs out, wall and plumbing moving kitchen / laundry room remodel bounced (yes, bounced!) it down the back steps and cracked the outer tub, one of the first nylon ones made of it's-too-danged-old-to-findium.  Diagnosing and replacing the circuit board and water valve on the replacement Samsung weren't too hard or costly (since I did them myself, and they're both right under the top cover), but digging out and replacing the $100 pot metal drum spider probably cost me a few years in Purgatory.  So did replacing the rollers and belt on the accompanying dryer.

 

I'll join you in lighting a black candle for Fast Eddie (and those of his ilk).  By all rights Sears should have been in a great position to address Amazon.  Good grief, it started as a catalog company, and remained one until the interwebz took hold.

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On 7/9/2020 at 8:12 AM, Specwriter said:

So many trips with Mom to the Sears on N. Shepherd to pick up items at the catalog counter (the Amazon of its day sort of). Probably everything I wore as a child came from that Sears store or the J. C. Penny's across Garden Oaks Blvd.

 

I remember a Henry J. automobile sitting inside the store at the front of the hardware section. Why it was there I couldn't tell you. By that time the car was about 10 years old. It wasn't junk but it didn't look pristine either IIRC.

 

One very unpleasant memory came from my mother: she and her sister had met for lunch then went into the Sears store to do some shopping afterward. That is when they learned that President Kennedy had been shot.

 

One pleasant memory was the candy counter in the middle of the first floor. The smell of fresh popcorn filled the air. Once in a while my sister and I would be treated to a bag of cherry or lemon sour candy from that counter.

 

I wonder what will become of that rather large piece of land.

 

You might say that Amazon is the Sears of our day.  I remember going to the catalog storefront with my great grandmother back in the 70's.  She lived way out in the country in a county that even now only has a pop of about 8,000 and that's how everyone did their shopping.  She had a stack of catalogs and was always getting something sent in.

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On 7/12/2020 at 10:53 AM, mollusk said:

Once upon a time my fridge, washer, dryer, dishwasher, and one of the window units all had Kenmore labels, and all of my tools were marked "Craftsman."  I can still get Craftsman tools, but they no longer have "forged in USA" embossed on them (that said, the new ratchets' smoother design sure feels sexy).  The way Sears got hollowed out by asset strippers just really galls me.

 

My father gave me a bunch of his old craftsman tools when I was a teenager and started to tinker with cars and such.  Still got all of them except an all-steel, 3/8 inch drill from the '60's that finally quit about 10 years ago.  I junked it and then later regretted not having someone take a look at it instead.  It was heavy as all get out, but it was METAL.

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My Kenmore washer is from 1986. I was born in 1988. It's older than I am. My mom bought some fancy new model and so I took the old washer off her hands. All it needed was a ~$20 lid switch that I got from a Sears Parts Store and installed myself around 2015, back when such stores still existed.

 

I got my dryer, new (a Whirlpool) from a Sears Outlet store shortly after I got the old washer (in 2015). 

 

Right now I live in an apartment that provides the washer and dryer, but when I buy a house, I intend to use the old Kenmore washer until it dies (and the Whirlpool dryer). They both work fine still.

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  • 6 months later...
On 7/9/2020 at 8:12 AM, Specwriter said:

So many trips with Mom to the Sears on N. Shepherd to pick up items at the catalog counter (the Amazon of its day sort of). Probably everything I wore as a child came from that Sears store or the J. C. Penny's across Garden Oaks Blvd.

 

I remember a Henry J. automobile sitting inside the store at the front of the hardware section. Why it was there I couldn't tell you. By that time the car was about 10 years old. It wasn't junk but it didn't look pristine either IIRC.

 

One very unpleasant memory came from my mother: she and her sister had met for lunch then went into the Sears store to do some shopping afterward. That is when they learned that President Kennedy had been shot.

 

One pleasant memory was the candy counter in the middle of the first floor. The smell of fresh popcorn filled the air. Once in a while my sister and I would be treated to a bag of cherry or lemon sour candy from that counter.

 

I wonder what will become of that rather large piece of land.

A few years ago when I wandered in (December 2018), there was an old man in line who I struck up a conversation with mentioned that he had been at the store when Kennedy was shot. I wonder if the old man (well, younger back then) and your mother had talked for one brief moment in 1963.

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3 hours ago, IronTiger said:

A few years ago when I wandered in (December 2018), there was an old man in line who I struck up a conversation with mentioned that he had been at the store when Kennedy was shot. I wonder if the old man (well, younger back then) and your mother had talked for one brief moment in 1963.

It could have happened. I under stand from people who were of an age to be cognizant of what had happened that a general sense of shock and dismay was prevalent. My mother was a young woman with two small children at the time. I wonder what went through her mind on that afternoon.

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