Bliss Thru Shopping: Shedding big tears for Sears

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It was a little eerie, walking around where boxers had been, where shoes once delighted, where washers and dryers once beckoned.

The iconic department store Sears has been a local institution since 1935.*

(* According to an aged manila file card in the SJ archives.)

Home to Kenmore, Craftsman and a sweet little eyeglass center.

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It all ends Sunday.

Well, not to be too dramatic, it ends Sunday in Lewiston. Sears will surely continue to exist; you’ll just have to huffily drive to Augusta or Brunswick or elsewhere to partake.

So as a last Lewiston Sears hurrah, Bag Lady and Shopping Siren ventured into the sparse retail landscape this week and . . .  actually ended up surprised at how much was left amid all the yellow “Store Closing!” signs. After months of watching the store’s steadily increasing going-out-of-business sale, we expected to find only ugly shoes, still-expensive kids’ clothes and leftover TVs.

Instead, the deals were sweet. The stock, better than expected. The shopping experience, awesome, if you have time to rummage.

Our advice: Make the time to rummage. Like, soon.

* 7.5-foot pre-lit Christmas trees, originally $299.99, now $83.99*

With pine cones, berries and a sprinkle of faux snow (SS’s fave) or straight-up rich green (BL’s fave). Only 348 days until Christmas. Get your tree now and avoid the last-minute rush.

* Plus Ultra powdered laundry detergent, 125 loads, originally $15.99, now $6.39

Clean clothes rock. Saving money rocks. So, in sum, buy this detergent and you cannot help but rock.

(Disclaimer: Actual rocking may not occur.)

* Remington 18-inch push mower, originally $139.99, now $67.19

“Push” as in no motor. YOU are the motor, bub. And it comes with a sizable mulch bag attachment at your feet, so don’t walk too fast.

* Vaughan framing hammer, originally $19.99, now $9.59

Just be careful — we hear everything looks like a nail to the person who has a hammer. (That cheeseburger? Not a nail!)

* Toilet seat covers, originally $25.99, now $8.31

Bag Lady surmises by the sheer quantity still available — in purple, pink, white, aqua, and the list goes on — that toilet seat covers have fallen out of favor. Generation X, no love for the padded bum.

* Boys’ toddler underwear, originally $18, now $7.20

Start the New Year potty trained! Because, you know, being potty trained is cool. Can be paired with preceding item as training reward.

* Kardashian Kollection little black pleather dress, originally $99, now $23.76

We’re so over these people. (New rule for 2013: Be famous for doing something, please). But the dress line is kute.

* Bongo Rockstar heels, originally $39.99, now $9.59
 
Size 9 black wedge platform shoes (and we do mean platform) with sequined silver stars covering the heels. Bag Lady’s take: Amazing! Shopping Siren’s: Ugh. Either way, if you’re going clubbing for the Fourth of July and you need your heels to stand out from the crowd, these are for you.

* Covington women’s packable down jackets, originally $100, now $24

In gray or black, size medium only. Get while the gettin’ is good. We hear these fold up to the size of a deck of cards.

Actually, no, no we do not hear that. We’re just flummoxed by the “packable” part of the jacket. Everything is packable! Except an elephant.

* Reading glasses, originally $20, now $6

In various strengths and styles, including sunglasses. For reading fine print, menus in romantically darkened restaurants and, ironically, the tag that comes with the glasses.

* LG 47-inch LED 3-D smart TV, originally $1,749, now $1,049

Best find:  Kolcraft iBaby reclining umbrella stroller, originally $59.99, now $20.99

Includes iPod dock, speaker, parent cup holder, rear storage bag for gear and adjustable canopy. We’re pretty sure a baby can fit in there, somewhere.

Think twice: About leaving us, Sears!

We’ll miss you.

* Prices as of 1/8

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who would love to have a tree in the living room year-round) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at baglady@sunjournal.com and shoppingsiren@sunjournal.com.

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