Sears Bankruptcy

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Convivium, 19 October 2017

What does the closing of Sears mean for the average citizen? Could it mean the loss of yet another physical space that facilitates our common life?

We have a Sears at the major mall in Kingston, ON – the Cataraqui Centre. It will close soon I suppose, given the bankruptcy. The same mall saw the closure of Target a few years back, when its Canadian expansion went belly up. Target itself had taken over the space of Zellers, once a mighty force on the Canadian retail scene, after it went defunct. Was there a Kmart there at some point? I don’t know, as that chain shuffled off the scene long ago.

Our publisher, Peter Stockland, likes to quote Chesterton on journalism, namely that it largely consists of announcing that Lord Jones is dead to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive. There is something like that when a major retail chain closes.

We didn’t know that Sears was in such bad shape because too few people ever went to Sears anymore. The employees suffer, but the customers can’t really complain. After all, if they hadn’t stopped shopping there, the store would not have to close. Perhaps it is Yogi Berra we need. When asked about a particular restaurant, he related that “Nobody ever goes there anymore – it’s too crowded!” In regard to Sears, it might be the opposite, “It’s a great place to go; there’s hardly anyone ever there.”

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