Sears has a lengthy history of catering to many needs. It failed for a lot of reasons.
SuperJail Warden wrote:I bought a $499 500 piece craftsman tool set half a decade ago from Sears. Used special offers and sales to get it down to like $350. Absolutely no complaints from it. I only use it for home stuff. I assume a lot of complaints about the very real decline in Sears parts quality is due to people not understanding the market Sears is pitching to. If your livelihood depends on your tools, buy tools from a business like Snap On. Don't buy tools from the store that also has the Martha Stewart home collection down the aisle. You wouldn't buy a TV from Sears either.
Digital Transformation and the Downfall of Sears
Among tool buyers, there was a perception that Sears was going to crap, and not because of clothes, or TVs, or the overpowering perfume aisle you had to brave when exiting the store into a mall proper.
Wide-eyed wonder from boomers, gg, in the twilight years of that. Policy that transformed into, anecdotally, "if you want to stand in line for 45 minutes to get your claim scrutinized by skeptical checkout clerks." Contrast to anecdotes about how you'd go into the store with a broken wrench and leave with a new wrench and sometimes a box of sockets or something at no charge. Sears Auto also experienced a failing reputation, mentioned in the above reasons link.
Most Craftsman hand tools are advertised as having an unlimited lifetime warranty. This lifetime warranty program was instituted by Sears when they began selling the Craftsman line in 1927. This warranty program requires no receipt or dated proof of purchase. If the owner takes the item into a local retail store, it may be replaced or repaired free of charge.
The full text of the warranty is as follows:If for any reason your Craftsman hand tool ever fails to provide complete satisfaction, return it to any Sears store or other Craftsman outlet in the United States for free repair or replacement. This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state.
Similarly, another business I hear commented on a lot is Ernst and its visible decline "at around the time it began diversifying into cheap furniture and other junk."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Hom … s_lawsuits
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Hom … rs#Decline
There's also entire youtube channels devoted to this sort of thing.