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Comment count is 7
Crunchy Frog - 2015-04-03

In the early 90's, Sears was the founder of and a principal shareholder in Prodigy (America's #2 online service provider), and also the Discover Card. The were well-known for its catalog sales (as they had been for about 100 years). They could have put these things together and been the first major online retailer. Instead, they sold off Prodigy to Mexican entrepreneur Carlos Slim, spun off the Discover card into an independent company, and shut down their catalog sales division.

This video could have been the first awkward steps toward modern digital shopping. Because of short-sighted management, it's just a historical footnote of a historical footnote.

betabox - 2015-04-04

Yeah, I've always been amazed that a company that huge and successful, with everything they needed to become what Amazon became, just whizzed it all down their leg.

baleen - 2015-04-06

There were Roosevelt-era regulations in place that kept Sears, Macy's and other giants in their place. In the early 80's and late 70's, certain companies used a nasty loophole in legislation to get past them. Mainly, that it's ok to do whatever you want if you can offer savings to consumers.

For most of the 20th century, the very idea of offering discounts was considered unethical. Prices were set by manufacturers as a means of protecting their patents.

When the FTC outlawed this kind of "price fixing" in 1978, it was all downhill from there. Retail chains became highly competitive, which meant manufacturers had to make things cheaply to get retailers to carry their wares, which meant moving more jobs to East Asia. It also meant that the most aggressive, technologically minded companies (Walmart) would easily beat out the old timers who were bound to cramped brick and mortar locations in urban and periurban centers.

This coincided conveniently with the White Flight into the suburbs. It was a perfect storm giving rise to massive box stores.

Lurchi - 2015-04-04

Does Sears still exist? Last time I was in one it seemed like a random collection of unsorted merchandise and blank shelves.

baleen - 2015-04-05

It went bankrupt but it exists.
The story is actually pretty hilarious.

http://www.salon.com/2013/12/10/ayn_rand_loving_ceo_destroys_h is_empire_partner/

Potrod - 2015-04-04

Cheryl Tiegs was one fine woman.

The Mothership - 2015-04-08

Cheryl Tiegs tag is unlinked. For shame, POETV.

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