It started 134 years ago and made its name through its catalog business, selling mass-produced goods to Americans all across the country.
By the middle of the 20th century, it was the largest private-sector employer in the United States, with its stores anchoring malls and spreading rapidly.
But Sears, like many department stores, has fallen on hard times. The company has been bleeding money since 2011, and it filed for bankruptcy in 2018.
In February 2019, a judge approved the sale of most of its assets to a hedge fund controlled by Eddie Lampert, the company's chairman, for $5.2 billion. The decision kept 425 stores open and saved the jobs of about 45,000 employees.
Businessman Richard W. Sears was a railroad station agent 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.