I worked for Sears as a service tech for over the past 25 years. I have seen all the changes, and yes most of them were all about money, less benefits for the employees, more money to line the executives pockets.
On top of that I was injured on the job and have since been terminated. The techs have the ability, (there are still many 25 to 30 year techs working) but Sears does not give them time to do the job correctly every time.
If we did not work fast we would lose our job due to low productivity. I too have stared purchasing items from other stores and ordering parts online cheaper through other companies.