👓 Sears’s ‘radical’ past: How mail-order catalogues subverted the racial hierarchy of Jim Crow | Washington Post

Read Sears’s ‘radical’ past: How mail-order catalogues subverted the racial hierarchy of Jim Crow (Washington Post)
Monday’s announcement that Sears would file for bankruptcy and close 142 stores came as little surprise to anyone who has followed the retail giant’s collapse in recent years. Still, the news inspired a wave of nostalgia for a company that sold an ideal of middle-class life to generations of Americans. A lesser-known aspect of Sears’s 125-year history, however, is how the company revolutionized rural black Southerners’ shopping patterns in the late 19th century, subverting racial hierarchies by allowing them to make purchases by mail or over the phone and avoid the blatant racism that they faced at small country stores.

A rehash and an expansion of a tweetstorm I saw the other day.

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👓 The Incredible Shrinking Sears | New York Times

Read The Incredible Shrinking Sears by Julie Creswell (nytimes.com)
How a financial wizard took over a giant of American retailing, and presided over its epic decline.

One has to wonder why shareholders aren’t going berserk over what’s happening to their value here. Even a small multi-million dollar settlement seems insignificant to the overall value they seem to have lost, even in a market space that would seemingly be shrinking. Someone somewhere isn’t minding the store like they should and it feels like some self- and double-dealing is going on.

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👓 Opinion | Sears Didn’t ‘Die.’ Vulture Capitalists Killed It. | Huffington Post

Read Opinion | Sears Didn't 'Die.' Vulture Capitalists Killed It. (HuffPost)
Bankruptcy wasn't inevitable. It was Wall Street's business strategy.
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