When we change themes we don’t lose widgets. They migrate automatically into the Inactive Widgets box. All we have to do is reposition them in the sidebar or footer area e depending on the theme. That will override the default sidebar display that accompanies the new theme activation.
The Export/Import thing kinda sorta worked. I lost all of my widgets (the Text widget in the inactive area was blank), messed up my custom menu and headers, but it’s sure better than starting from scratch.