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Rosenwald oversaw the design and construction of the firm's first department store, built on land within the Sears, Roebuck and Company Complex. The store opened in In , Rosenwald resigned the presidency, but remained as chairman until his death in ; his goal was to devote more time to philanthropy.
In Sears issued the first of its Christmas catalogs known as the " Sears Wishbook ", a catalog featuring toys and gifts, separate from the annual Christmas Catalog. From to , the catalog even included ready-to-assemble kit houses. By that time, the Sears catalog had long been known in the industry as "the Consumers' Bible".
The catalog also entered the language, particularly of rural dwellers, as a euphemism for toilet paper, as its pages could be torn out and used as such. The mail order market was based on rural America, with a slow-growing population and far less spending power than urban America. Rosenwald decided to shift emphasis to urban America, and brought in Robert E.
Wood to take charge. The first Sears retail stores were opened in conjunction with the company's mail order offices, typically in working-class neighborhoods far from the main shopping center.
Sears was a pioneer in creating department stores that catered to men as well as women, especially with lines of hardware and building materials.
It de-emphasized the latest fashions in favor of practicality and durability, and allowed customers to select goods without the aid of a clerk.
Its stores were oriented to motorists—set apart from existing business districts amid residential areas occupied by their target audience; had ample, free, off-street parking; and communicated a clear corporate identity. In the s, the company designed fully air-conditioned, "windowless" stores whose layout was driven wholly by merchandising concerns.
From the s to the s, Sears built many urban department stores in the USA, Canada and Mexico apart from, but not far from, existing central business districts , and they overshadowed the mail-order business. Starting in the s, the company expanded into suburban markets, and malls in the s and s.
In , it had formed the Homart Development Company for developing malls. Many of the company's stores have undergone major renovations or replacement since the s. Sears began to diversify in the s, creating Allstate Insurance Company in and placing Allstate representatives in its stores in Over the decades it established major national brands, such as Kenmore , Craftsman , DieHard , Silvertone , Supertone , and Toughskins. The company became a conglomerate during the midth century, adding Dean Witter and Coldwell Banker real estate in , starting Prodigy as a joint venture with IBM in , and introducing the Discover credit card in In , Sears completed the story Sears Tower in Chicago, which became the world's tallest building , a title it took from the former World Trade Center towers in New York.
The official renaming as the Willis Tower took place on Thursday, July 16, , during a public ceremony hosted by Willis Group Holdings. In the s, the company began divesting itself of many non-retail entities, which were detrimental to the company's bottom line.
Sears spun off its financial services arm which included brokerage business Dean Witter Reynolds and Discover Card. It sold its mall building subsidiary Homart to General Growth Properties in Sears Holdings continues to produce specialty catalogs and reintroduced a smaller version of the Holiday Wish Book in In , Sears sold its retail credit card operation to Citibank. In , Sears opened a new concept store called Sears Grand. Sears Grand stores carry everything that a regular Sears carries, and more.
In , the company began renovating some Kmart stores and converting them to the Sears Essentials format, only to change them later to Sears Grands. Sears' CEO and top shareholder said the sell-off of key assets in the last year had given the retailer the money it needs to speed up its transformation. In part, the retailer was trying to curb losses by using a loyalty program called Shop Your Way. All of the locations are associated with Kmart locations.
In late and early , some significant steps were taken by Edward Lampert , president, chief executive officer and top shareholder of Sears Holding Corp. I don't think there is any viable path to any sort of profitability. Sears declined from more than 3, physical stores to US stores from to In October , Sears and appliance manufacturer Whirlpool Corporation ended their year old association whereby Whirlpool appliances were sold at Sears, and later Kmart , stores.
The companies reportedly were unable to come to an agreement on pricing issues. Whirlpool would continue supplying the Kenmore branded appliances they make for Sears. The company also auctioned some real estate, including the buildings of several operating stores, online.
In May Sears announced it had formed a "special committee" to explore the sale of Kenmore. As of October 14, , with Sears filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, leaving the future of both the Kenmore and DieHard brands undecided, it has been rumored online and elsewhere that Whirlpool Corporation could emerge as a possible top potential buyer for the Kenmore brand since they were the top major manufacturer of Kenmore appliances for well over a century.
On September 24, , the retailer's CEO warned that the company was "running out of time" to salvage its business. The company sponsored the television series Extreme Makeover: It sponsors and currently has naming rights to the Sears Centre , an 11,seat multi-purpose family entertainment, cultural and sports center, constructed in in Hoffman Estates.
However, Riggs failed to qualify for the event. Sears has struggled with employee relations. In early October , Sears cut commission rates for employees in select departments to anywhere from 0. As of , appliances is the only remaining department where compensation is based entirely on commission. Other departments give a base pay plus commission. This location closed August This Sears closed in January From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Department store chain in the United States. This article is about the chain of department stores. For its parent company, see Sears Holdings. For the defunct Canadian subsidiary, see Sears Canada. For other uses, see Sears disambiguation. Clothing footwear bedding furniture jewelry beauty products appliances housewares tools electronics. Allen — Washing machines Allstate — Automobiles, motorcycles and mopeds, vehicle parts and insurance  Alphaline — Brand of electronics accessories, cables and headphones.
A video on-demand service powered by Roxio under the same name launched in Part of a license deal with the magazine of the same name in Exterior of the Sears in Mexico City. Chicago portal Illinois portal Companies portal. Retrieved September 13, United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 4 November Retrieved October 20, Retrieved January 15, The New York Times.
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