Believe it or not, Sears once revolutionized retail


New York (CNN Business)Roughly 100 Sears Hometown locations are permanently closing in the coming weeks, representing roughly half of its remaining retail footprint.

The closures were announced on each individual store’s Facebook page rather than a single press release. The locations are spread over about 30 US states, according to multiple reports.
“Unfortunately we must announce the closing of our Sears Hometown Store. It is not a decision that we have made lightly. We have loved all of our time that we have been able to spend with you over these last 10 years,” the Facebook post says for its Luling, Louisiana location, about 28 miles from New Orleans, which is set to close on June 23.

    Sears Hometown and Outlet stores were spun-off by Sears Holdings in 2012. Transformco, which acquired Sears Holdings after the company filed for bankruptcy in 2018, didn’t respond to CNN Business’ request for comment. As recently as of 2019, Sears Hometown had 750 stores in the United States.

      In pictures: The rise and fall of Sears

      Black Friday shoppers line up outside a Sears store in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, in 2007.

      Businessman Richard W. Sears <a href="" target="_blank">was a railroad station agent </a>who started selling watches as a side business in North Redwood, Minnesota, in 1886. The following year, he moved to the company's first Chicago location and hired watchmaker Alvah Roebuck. The two started a catalog business selling watches and jewelry in 1888, incorporating under the Sears Roebuck name in 1893.

      The cover of a Sears Roebuck and Co. catalog in the fall of 1900. The Sears catalog was the way many Americans first started to buy mass-produced goods.

      A Sears, Roebuck and Co. store in El Paso, Texas, circa 1940. Sears' stores helped reshape America, drawing shoppers away from the traditional Main Street merchants.

      Sales clerks go on strike in Chicago circa 1946.

      A Sears store in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1949.

      People vote inside a Sears store in Tucson, Arizona, in 1953.

      A woman receives a cosmetics consultation at a Sears store in Caracas, Venezuela, circa 1953.

      A worker goes over files in Sears' catalog office.

      Cars fill a parking lot outside a Sears store, circa 1958.

      Sales clerk Lucille Jagusch shows drapery samples to shopper Arlene Hardt at a Sears store in Niles, Illinois, in 1961.

      People shop inside a Sears store in Morton Grove, Illinois, in 1961.

      Soldiers guard a Sears store in Baltimore after riots broke out following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

      People watch the Apollo 11 rocket launch at a Sears store in White Plains, New York, in 1969.

      An iron worker helps construct the Sears Tower in Chicago. Sears' new headquarters, built in 1973, was the world's tallest building until 1998. Sears sold the building in 1994.

      A customer shops in Woodfield, Illinois, in 1991.

      A woman works at a Sears in Hicksville, New York, in 1994.

      Seth Meyers, left, and Hugh Jackman play Sears photographers during a "Saturday Night Live" skit in 2001.

      Kaylin Wilson sets up children's clothes in a Kmart in Nashua, New Hampshire, in 2005. The store was the first Kmart in the country to begin receiving Sears merchandise after stockholders voted on a merger to form the nation's third largest retailer.

      Black Friday shoppers duck under the opening door of a Sears store in Mentor, Ohio, in 2011.

      A woman in Mississauga, Ontario, looks at used store furniture for sale in 2008. The Sears location was closing forever.

      A dismantled sign leans outside a Sears store in Nanuet, New York, one day after it closed in 2019.

      Its remaining stores are operated primarily in small towns by independent dealers or franchisees of Transformco affiliates. The stores are typically between 6,000 to 8,000 square feet — a fraction of the size of Sears department stores which were each more than 100,000 square feet — and sell mainly tools and appliances.

      In addition to the diminishing presence of Sears Hometown, Transformco’s other retailers — Sears and Kmart — have also slowly disappeared. There are roughly 20 full-line Sears stores left in the mainland US, two more in Puerto Rico and only about six Kmarts left in the mainland US, along with six more in Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.
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