Sears was an online retailer before the internet was a thing. It’s failing because it’s poorly run. Customer service is atrocious. Online, staff is usually ignorant on how to resolve your problem. I once had a package get lost in the mail (understandable). I contacted Sears, and they told me I would have to wait 1-2 weeks while they investigate. Meanwhile, Amazon would overnight a new item to rectify the situation.
Physical locations are poorly staffed. When trying to check out, I would often have to walk the store to find a register that was open and staffed. Picking up an online order would take upwards of 15 minutes sometimes. It would have been faster for me to walk in, pick the item up off the shelf, and checkout, were it not for the aforementioned problem of checking out. Shelves and clothing racks were often poorly stocked. I shop at a physical store because I need something now, often times like a tool while working on a project. If you don’t have what I need in stock, you’re useless.
Stores were poorly lit. What I mean is that the lighting was out of date, and just made the store feel old and out of date. Stores are dirty. And, while most brick and mortar retailers have taken steps to modernize and update their physical locations, Sears has decided to try to continually cut costs.
Kmart suffers from many of the same problems.