Soon after landing my first "real" job, I made a habit of visiting Sears each weekend to buy a tool. It started with a small, wood-handle hammer (which remains my favorite), and was followed over time by screwdriver sets, pliers, clamps, and other toolbox basics. Added to what I purchased on an "as needed basis" for specific jobs (tile cutters, Jorgenson clamps, etc.), it was a relatively painless way to build a working collection over time. During those years, Sears was busy, staffed, and stocked.
A few weeks ago, I visited a Sears location to return an item that I had purchased on-line. I was surprised by how vacant the store appeared; that is best word I can find to describe it. Half-filled shelves, barren aisles, and wide-open spaces illuminated with harsh fluorescent lighting only seemed to emphasize how empty the place was.