The main reason for the decline of Sears stores has been the CEO of Sears. Edward Lampert has outright said that he's working on separating and preserving the parts of Sears that have value (the HomeGoods, Land's End and Craftsman brands) and doesn't care much about the rest, so investment in store maintenance and staffing have plummeted and it shows. There's an article on Yahoo about how some journalist went through a store and found all sorts of evidence of "bad management" where it's really a lack of corporate support. Depending on the managment of each Sears store, it'll be better or worse but on the whole, Mr. Lampert is running the brand on receivership (to his credit, he's doing it because it was the only way to keep it from collapsing entirely) so it's not likely that Sears itself will ever get better. It's too bad, too, because as I said above, what other department store could you go to to buy a snowblower?