Letters: Sears Closings; Writing Letters

Robert Siegel reads emails from listeners.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's time now for letters. And first, a response to a story earlier this week about Sears.

This week, the iconic department store chain announced that it will close as many as 120 of its stores after poor holiday sales. Nancy Koehn, a historian at Harvard Business School, told our reporter that the Sears brand has been on a slow decline for at least 15 years.

PROFESSOR NANCY KOEHN: Wal-Mart, Target, and then the big-box retailers, right, have eaten Sears as competitive lunch.

SIEGEL: Well, we reported at least two reasons for that decline: the bad economy and a conscious decision within the company to cut back on service and store remodeling.

Well, Carl Doerner, of Conway, Massachusetts, writes this: Having recently purchased a defective kitchen range from Sears, I offer an alternative reason for their declining sales. When the salesman asked if I wished to purchase an extended warranty and I replied that I never did that, the salesman said, you should with this one.

We also received a letter from Alison Merrill of Oakland, California, not about the news of the day but about something a bit closer to our inbox.

She writes this: I am in full throes of mid-life crisis, finding myself taking regretfully frequent strolls down memory lane. Your Letters From Listeners segment brought on another trip to the good old days. At the end of your segment, you always tell us how to contact you. When I was in college, it was always a small thrill when you read your street address in Washington, D.C.

Oh, the glamour of politics and very important happenings that conjured up to my youthful mind. Somehow hearing your modern instructions to go to your website and click just doesn't resonate the same. But of course it's what I just did.

Well, Ms. Merrill - or anyone else feeling a bit nostalgic - you can always write to us the old-fashioned way. Just post your note to: ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, 635 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., 20001.

We also accept singing telegrams, so long as the song includes where you're from and how to pronounce your name.

(SOUNDBITE OF "SING, SING, SING")

LOUIS PRIMA: (Singing) Sing, sing, sing, sing, everybody start to sing, la dee dah, ho, ho, ho. Now you're singing with a swing. Sing, sing, sing, sing, everybody...

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