Before there was Amazon. Founded as a mail-order watch company in the late 19th century, Sears, Roebuck and Company made its name with its swollen, jam-packed catalogs that advertised everything from underwear to entire house kits. Sears' retail stores spread across the country and its sales stayed strong even during the Great Depression , as the company spawned now-famous brands like Kenmore, Craftsman and even Allstate Insurance. But by the s, Sears began to struggle as the company confronted competition from rival discount department stores like Kmart, Target, and Walmart, economic woes brought on by the Great Recession and the increasing dominance of e-commerce. After years in business, former retail giant Sears filed for bankruptcy in October , announcing it would close unprofitable stores in the face of mounting competition from big-box stores and, of course, Amazon.
Planning a visit to the United States? Or have friends and family in the U. Shop at Sears to get everything you want—including great gifts for yourself or others. You'll be happy to see how online shopping in the U. Simply use an international credit card. Order something online but need a little help picking it up? No problem.
When I was a poor kid growing up in the foothills of the north Georgia mountains, one of my favorite days of every year was the afternoon in late September when the mailman dropped off the Sears Christmas Wish Book. We did not know, but we wanted to be them. The only thing you would look sexier in is an scissoring sweatshirt , doll. The Wish Book may be gone, but the accidental lesbianism will never be forgotten.
When Sears, Roebuck and Co. The "big book," as it became known, displayed everything from lingerie to prefabricated houses in its more than 1, pages. Children and adults alike scanned a cornucopia of products, covetously ogling toys, fashions, firearms, and every conceivable item for the home, all at temptingly low prices. In addition, before the era of television the catalog was valued as a medium of entertainment in isolated pockets of rural America, and it was also educational. Early editions gave many a young boy his first--albeit somewhat distorted--idea of the female figure from line drawings of wasp-waisted, corseted women.