Sears: A Journey from Sky to Sea

    Weaving up the cocoon of success through the thread of diversification and amalgamation, Sears traces its roots back to the brain cells of Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck, American businessmen of the black and white 1880s. What kicked off as a watch company, soon became the destination of bestowing everyone with everything: department stores. However, this graph of success slowly began to witness a downward slope as, in 2018, the evils of bankruptcy and debts engulfed three-fourths of the company with only few stores left untouched. 

    What started as Roebuck and Company in 1886, stepped into this intricately civilised world with the name of Sears. Richard W. Sears was engaged in the art of selling watches by mail order and in 1887 hired Alvah C. Roebuck for repairing watches and laid the foundation bricks of a mail order which dealt in the business of watches and jewellery. A few years later, the former sold off his business and in 1993 the colours of Sears blended with the colours of Roebuck to form the Sears of the present day. Roebuck’s interests were restructured and snapped up by Julius Rosenwald, a company that had received laurels for its expensive clothing. Becoming the favourite of many, the company became known far and wide in a short span for providing farmers with a variety of commodities at a price much lower than the rest with easy availability. It made household goods, clothing, hardware and automobile repair services available to its customers. Meanwhile, Mr. Sears articulated the company’s catalogues, which were to receive people’s attention immensely in the future. Acting as angels were the two utilities of the US Postal Service: the rural free delivery service initiated in 1896 and the Parcel Service from 1909. Cherry on top of the delicious cake of business, this accelerated the pace of the company’s run towards perfection and superiority among other companies of that era. 

    Britannica Encyclopedia constituted a major chunk in the platter of Sears from 1920-1943 but was finally sold with the means of the catalogue. Gen. Robert E. Wood dedicated his brain and soul for the company which resulted in a relationship of 30 years with the latter flourishing and reaching the peak of success one had ever witnessed. He worked out the strategy of opening stores in suburban areas and this was it. The increase in sales was so rapid that by 1931, Sears had topped the list of retail sales. Happiness and success became constant friends of Sears till the 1980s but betrayal flashed upon Sears when Kmart Corporation began to rise and overpowered Sears. Years later, Walmart was born and turned out to crash both of them to ruins. 

    Procuring Lands’ End for around $2 billion dollars in 2002, Sears somehow tried to maintain its position among the running businesses of the United States. However, it was taken over by Walmart for $12 billion dollars and both Kmart and Sears got converted into subsidiaries of the Sears Holding Corporation. Edwart S. Lampart was in charge of the same and had introduced a couple of contentious moves which are assumed to have pushed Sears down the graph of losses by reducing the stock of cash. Brick by brick, Sears got dismantled with the selling of various assets, of which it had once been a proud owner. 

    A controlling stake was bought by Lampart in Canada but it had to shut its doors in 2018. This period of time proved out to be extremely unfavourable for Sears as most of its shops closed down all over the country and the SHC filed for bankruptcy protection in 2018. Finally, Sears’ name was no longer heard once it was sold to Lambert’s hedge fund, ESI Investments in 2019 for $5.2 billion. After fighting for its place for years, the sun of Sears had set forever.

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