As Sears Closes Doors, Workers Look Ahead


Ryan Jones

With Sears stores closing, discarded workers are left to fend for themselves.

Ryan Jones, Assistant Sports Editor


As shoppers across America start to check off the items on their Christmas shopping lists, Sears will be getting ready to close up shop in their 506 locations across the country after 125 years in business.

“It was sad, but it’s the future, so it is what it is. It’s a good opportunity for these people to move into better jobs,” Christian Coronado, a 22-year-old who works in a Sears’ jewelry department in Waterford, Connecticut, said.

Founded in 1893, Sears has been a staple in malls across the United States for decades, providing shoppers with a “one-stop shop” formula that was wildly successful in its peak years of business. However, Sears has faced the woes many department stores have in recent times with the advent of online shopping.

The convenience of online stores like Amazon have made stores like Sears virtually obsolete in today’s fast-paced world. Unable to adapt to the shopping market of today, Sears decided instead to call it quits, filing for bankruptcy and announcing the closing of a majority of the stores. Those left standing will be soon to join the rest in shutting down.

Looking beyond the business side, the shut down of Sears of course brings with it the loss of work for those employed by the company.

Coronado took many important skills away from his time at the store, including a better understanding of English. After moving to the United States from Peru last year, Coronado explained that Sears, his first job in his new country, “helped me [him] learn English, having to interact with people everyday.”

Though sad to see the end of Sears’ run, Coronado is ready for new opportunities.

“I’m looking to go to another jewelry job on the side. I still need a steady paycheck to pay rent,” he said.

As for his fellow Sears staff, Coronado had nothing but high praise, explaining that his “managers always treated me [him] well” and that he “won’t forget them.”

Jonathon Stevens, a four-year employee in Sears’ appliance section, had other thoughts on those running the Waterford store. According to Stevens, workers at Sears “found out the same day as everyone else because our managers didn’t tell us [them].”

Before associates found out about the closing, they were given a false sense of hope by their managers, according to Stevens.

“They would tell us, ‘We’re on track, we’re not going to close.’ Then the next day, suddenly we’re closing,” Stevens recalled. But the “surprise” announcement did not come as a surprise to Stevens. “We don’t have the best management, and that’s probably why a lot of the Sears stores are closing. Poor communication, they hide a lot of things, management takes more vacation time than associates do and get paid a lot more.”

“As associates, we are trying to push everything out that we can, but you can tell a lot of people are sad about losing their jobs,” he continued, explaining the disappointment the shut-downs have left behind.

Though some stores have avoided closing so far, it is expected that all Sears stores will be closed before the end of 2019.