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Vanishing Sears and Kmart: How to get warranty help, service

Many customers have no stores within a 2 hour drive
Sears is laying off 200 more people
Posted at 1:50 PM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-01 14:03:32-04

What was once one of America's most popular big box chains is closing another 100 stores by the end of the year. USA Today says the company will start liquidation sales by the end of September, and the stores will be closed by Christmas.

At its peak in the 1980s, Sears and Kmart had over 2,000 stores. With these latest closings it will have fewer than 300.

Many longtime shoppers now worry what this means for their service warranties.... or this holiday season's layaway.

Sandy Coffey remembers when the sears catalog was her Amazon. "We used to order from it all the time, at least once a month," she said.

She reminisces about buying her childrens' school clothing at Sears every September such as "pajamas, that were 3 for $10. Toughskins jeans, you couldn't wear them out."

Every October, she would drive to Kmart to put holiday gifts on layaway. "I would pick out what we wanted for the kids, and go put a couple of dollars down, and pay it weekly, and by Christmas time it's paid for!"

But that is ending now in many communities.

With so many Sears stores closing, and for a lot of customers no Sears within a 2 or 3 hour drive, they wonder where will they go for help with their Craftsman mowers, Kenmore appliances, and more.

Where to get help

The good news is that Sears remains in business, a spokeswoman telling us you should start by calling Sears customer service at (800) 349-4358, or visiting Sears.com.

  • Tires and battery warranties will be honored at authorized local tire centers, Sears says.
  • Craftsman tools and mowers can be serviced at Lowe's. A spokeswoman told us: "Lowe’s honors all Craftsman lifetime warranty products and provides repair services for outdoor power equipment. For questions on the status of your Craftsman product warranty, call the customer care line at 888-331-4569."

If you still love layaway, meantime, you'll find it now at Walmart, Burlington Coat, and many TJ Maxx and Marshall's stores.

But for Sandy Coffey, it's not quite the same. "That does make me sad," she said. "They were a staple."

As always, don't waste your money.

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8:47 PM, Oct 17, 2018

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