Collapsing ceilings and no working toilets: workers describe decay in failing stores
Business Insider, July 1, 2017
Sears and Kmart stores are deteriorating as their parent company, Sears Holdings, struggles to turn the business around following years of plunging sales.
Employees described signs of decay in the stores they work in. These include a rat problem, collapsing ceilings, empty shelves, and a lack of working toilets for weeks on end.
Some of these problems started several years ago, and have been getting progressively worse, according to the employees, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation from Sears.
Workers from the store level to Sears’ headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois — as well as critics outside the company — claim that the stores’ decline is the result of years of underinvestment in maintenance and other capital expenditures.
‘The store is infested with rats’ — At a Sears store in Lafayette, Louisiana, maintenance delays led to a rat problem, according to a former employee. «Sears turned into a disgusting, filthy place,» the former employee said. «The store is infested with rats… at night when we would all be in the office area waiting for the managers to finish, you would hear troops of rats running around the ceiling.»
He said there were frequent ceiling leaks in the store and in the stock room, which «smelled of rat urine and feces.» «Every storm the ceiling would leak,» he said. «This water would sometimes get on the merchandise. There would be tiles so soaking wet that they would fall.»
Meanwhile the Kmart store in Eureka, California went three weeks in April 2016 without a functioning bathroom, according to an employee of that store.
There were problems in the Eureka store’s employee break room, as well, according to this employee. He claimed it lacked a working sink and drinking water, that the garbage cans regularly overflowed, and that light bulbs in the store parking lot were out for months.
Conditions aren’t much better in the corporate offices, according to a former Sears employee who worked at the company’s headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, for more than four years until he was laid off in late 2016.
«It is very typical to see garbage cans, buckets, and even large plastic dumpsters scattered all over the building to catch leaks,» a former employee told Business Insider. He said leaks aren’t properly repaired, so water-damaged walls and ceilings are a common sight.
«Typically just a hole would be punched in the ceiling to keep the water draining vs. pooling,» he said.
The problems that employees describe in Sears’ stores aren’t just structural. Some stores are running out of merchandise to fill the shelves as suppliers retreat from the ailing retailer, according to several employees.
On top of these problems, many Sears and Kmart stores are struggling with a lack of labor, as Sears trims its store staff and slashes hours for its part-time workers to cut costs.
Sears’ annual revenues dropped by nearly 50% to $22.1 billion between 2011 and 2016, and the company recorded net losses of more than $8.2 billion over that period.
Здешние политиканы, «эксперты», подконтрольные ЦРУ СМ»И» нахваливают псевдодемократическую, якобы процветающую Америку.
Те, кто любит «наших американских (государственных) партнеров», «забывают» о грязных, злых уродах США. О таких, как коварный и крайне опасный мошенник, расист, лжец, неофашист и убийца Дональд Трамп. И о таких, как порочный Конгресс, кровавые милитаристы США, нацистские ФБР — ЦРУ, лживые американские СМ”И”…
Арнольд Локшин, политэмигрант из США