Sears Holdings Corporation


Sears Holdings Corporation NASDAQ: SHLD is the third largest retailer in the United States, behind Wal-Mart and The Home Depot. It was formed in 2005 by the purchase of Sears, Roebuck and Company of Hoffman Estates, Illinois by Kmart Corporation of Troy, Michigan.

The company operates 3,800 retail locations under the mastheads of Sears, Sears Grand, Sears Essentials, Kmart, Big Kmart, Kmart SuperCenter, The Great Indoors, Orchard Supply Hardware, and Lands' End stores.

The company maintains its corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates, and it maintains the Kmart brand from Michigan.

History

Kmart

The current Kmart logo

Sebastian S. Kresge founded the S.S. Kresge Corporation, the predecessor of Kmart, in 1899 in Detroit, Michigan. Kresge's first retail establishment, a five-and-ten-cent store, resembled those operated by Frank Woolworth. The store grew into a chain known as S. S. Kresge. By 1912, the chain operated 85 stores.

By the 1920s, Kresge operated larger stores that offered a wider variety of merchandise and prices—precursors of the modern discount store. The first Kmart department store opened in 1962 in Garden City, Michigan. A total of 18 Kmart stores opened that year. Kmart Foods, a long forgotten, now defunct chain of Kmart supermarkets opened in in that same decade.

Kmart became known for its "blue light specials": at surprise moments, a store worker would light up a mobile police light and offer a discount in a part of the store. The phrase "attention Kmart shoppers" also entered into the American pop psyche. Kmart was also featured in the Oscar-winning 1988 film Rain Man, in which Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman both famously exclaim, "Kmart sucks!"

During the 1970s, Kmart put a number of competing retailers out of business. In 1977, S. S. Kresge Corporation changed its name to Kmart Corporation. In 1987, Kmart Corporation sold its remaining Kresge stores.

The first Big Kmart opened in 1996. The first Super Kmart Center opened in 1991 in Medina, Ohio.

Trouble For Kmart

K-Mart store 4018, located in Dubuque, Iowa. This is the oldest K-Mart in Iowa.

During the 1970s, the company's fortunes began to change; many of Kmart's stores were badly outdated and in decaying condition. Inventory piled up, checkout lines grew, and customers abandoned the stores.

In 1990, in an effort to change their image, Kmart introduced a new logo (dropping the old-style italic "K" with a turquoise "mart", created in the early 1970s), and gave many stores a very badly needed renovation. However, most stores were not remodeled until the mid-1990s, some of which are not completely renovated today. This then-new logo was replaced in 2004 with the current logo.

It also began to offer exclusive merchandise by Martha Stewart, Kathy Ireland, and Jaclyn Smith. Other recognizable brands included Sesame Street and Disney. Rosie O'Donnell and Penny Marshall were among the company's most-recognized spokespersons.

In the 1990s, Kmart made a number of missteps, again. In 1993 Kmart closed 110 stores. Unlike competitor Wal-Mart, it failed to invest in computer technology to manage its supply chain. Furthermore, Kmart maintained a high dividend, which reduced the amount of money available for improving its stores. Many business analysts also faulted the corporation for failing to create a coherent brand image.

The lime green prototype logo. This logo is only used at five prototype Kmart locations nationwide.

The original "blue light special" had disappeared in 1991 due to changing consumer habits and misuse by individual stores (according to the company's official explanation). The company then brought back the "blue light special", which involved the manager announcing a promotion in-store every hour, on the hour—said special lasting for 25 minutes. When the announcement of the special took place over the public address system, music would fill the store and all employees would stop their current actions, clap twice and pump their fists in the air, shouting "Blue Light, Blue Light!". This scheme aimed to generate more interest in Kmart from shoppers and the media, but failed because stores did not follow the procedure. No records exist of anyone actually shouting "Blue Light, Blue Light!" It has since ended the "blue light special" again.

In 2001, the stock scandal involving Martha Stewart severely hurt the corporation's image. In addition, Kmart attempted to compete against Wal-Mart on price by introducing the "Blue Light Always" campaign, which ditched the original blue light concept for lower prices in general. The company could simply not afford to match Wal-Mart's prices. In August 2001, Target Corporation sued Kmart for false advertising; Target claimed that its "Dare to Compare" campaign routinely misstated both Kmart's and Target's prices.

On January 22, 2002, Kmart filed for bankruptcy protection; led into the bankruptcy by its then chairman Chuck Conaway and president Mark Schwartz. Similar to the Enron scandal, Conway and Schwartz were accused of misleading shareholders and other company officials of the company's financial crisis, while they were allegedly making millions and allegedly spending the company's money on planes, houses, boats, and other luxuries.

After firing Conaway and Schwartz, It shut down more than 300 stores in the United States and laid off around 34,000 workers as part of a badly-needed restructuring. On May 6, 2003, Kmart officially emerged from bankruptcy protection as Kmart Holding Corporation and on June 10, 2003 it began trading on the NASDAQ as "KMRT". Kmart introduced 5 then new prototype stores with a new logo, layout and color scheme (lime green and gray) in 2002 with one in White Lake, Michigan and four in Peoria, Illinois. The new layout has wider aisles, better selection and better lighting. However, Kmart could not afford a full-scale rollout. The lime green prototype was abandoned for the new Kmart "Orange" concept that rolled out at 9 test stores nationwide.

Once a major presence in Canada, after being sold to Zellers in the late 1990s, which was subsequently bought by the Hudson's Bay Company, all Kmart stores there were either closed or converted to the Zellers name.

Sears

Sears logo

In 1886, the United States contained only 38 states. Many people lived in rural areas and typically farmed. Richard Sears was a railroad station agent in Minnesota when he received a shipment of watches which were unwanted by a local jeweler. Sears purchased them himself, and sold the watches at a nice profit to other station agents up and down the line, and then ordered more for resale. Soon he started a business selling watches. The next year, he moved to Chicago, Illinois where he met Alvah C. Roebuck who joined him in the business. In 1893, the corporate name became Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Richard Sears knew that farmers often brought their crops to town where they could be sold and shipped, and then bought supplies, often at very high prices, from local general stores. The catalog business grew quickly. By 1894, the Sears catalog had grown to 322 pages, featuring sewing machines, bicycles, sporting goods and a host of other new items. Organizing the company so it could handle orders on an economical and efficient basis, Chicago clothing manufacturer Julius Rosenwald became a part-owner in 1895. Alvah Roebuck had to resign soon after due to ill-health, but the company still retained his name. By the following year, dolls, icebox refrigerators, cook-stoves and groceries had been added to the catalog.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. soon developed a reputation for both quality products and customer satisfaction.

People had learned to trust Sears for other products bought mail-order, and thus, sight unseen. This laid important groundwork for supplying a home, possibly the largest single investment a typical family would ever make. In 1908, the company began offering entire houses as kits, marketed as Sears Modern Homes, and by the time the program ended in 1940, over 100,000 had been sold.

A Sears store

Sears issued many catalogs and didn't open its first retail store until 1925, when the business was already 32 years old. The first free standing department store was opened October 5, 1925 in Evansville, Indiana. In addition to mail-order or rail shipment of large purchases, items could also be picked up at the Sears Store in a nearby town when retail outlets were opened.

The Sears, Roebuck catalog was sometimes referred to as "the Consumers' Bible." The Christmas Catalog was known as the "Wish Book", perhaps because of the toys in it. The catalog also entered the language, particularly of rural dwellers, as a euphemism for toilet paper. In the days of outhouses and no readily available toilet paper, the pages of the mass-mailed catalog were used as toilet paper. "I'm going to read the Sears catalog" was a polite way of saying "I'm going to the outhouse."

After World War II, the company built many stores in suburban shopping malls. The company was the largest retailer in the United States until the early 1980s but had dropped significantly in rankings by the time it merged with Kmart.

Sears diversified and became a conglomerate during the mid-20th century. It established several major brands of products such as Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard, and Tuff-skin. The company started the Allstate Insurance Company back in 1931 and had representatives operating in its stores as early as 1934. It purchased Dean Witter and Coldwell Banker real estate in 1981, and started what became Prodigy as a joint venture in 1984. It also introduced the Discover credit card in 1985. During the late 1980s, and as late as 1993, the Discover card was the only accepted credit card at many Sears retail locations.

Roebuck was dropped from the name of the stores, though not from the official corporate name in the 1970s.

The current Sears logo was created in 1984. Previously, the Sears logo consisted of the name "Sears" in a rectangle. Now it consists of the blue text, Sears, with a white line separating each letter down along the length of its strokes. In late 2004, the logo was switched from all upper case to upper and lower case.

In 2004, Sears launched a new store concept called Sears Grand which it hopes will be a viable competitor to hypermarkets like Wal-Mart Supercenters.

Sears formerly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker of "S", which is now used by the Sprint Nextel Corporation.

Trouble for Sears

Adam Walsh, the son of reporter John Walsh (America's Most Wanted), was abducted from a Sears department store in Hollywood, Florida, in 1981 at the age of six; his severed head was later found in Vero Beach, FL. Wal-Mart responded by creating Code Adam procedures to protect children that are in the store, whereas Sears initially ignored the risk, hoping it would go away on its own. This led to public opposition to Sears' policies, and alienated customers.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the company divested themselves of many non-retail entities, which were creating a burden on the company's bottom line.

Sears logo (1984 – 2004)

In 1993, Sears stopped production of its general merchandise catalog because of sinking sales and profits. However, Sears Holdings does continue to produce speciality catalogs and the Holiday Wish Book.

In 2003, they sold their retail credit card operation to Citibank because the credit cards were draining profits from the company. The remaining card operations was sold to J.P. Morgan Chase in August 2005.

In the early 1980s, Sears ceased selling shotguns, which had previously even been sold under their internal J. C. Higgins sporting brand from 1908 until 1961, and this alienated them from their historical core of rural and working-class consumers.

In the late 1990s, the company's market share in many areas deteriorated rapidly as Wal-Mart drew away working-class consumers, and Federated Department Stores attracted wealthier consumers. Sears has also been shouldered with the problem of keeping a sound legal basis for its actions. A number of class action lawsuits have been prepared and successfully won against the company.[1]

Sears Tower

Sears, Roebuck and Company built the famed Sears Tower, which was completed in 1974. This building, located in Chicago, is the tallest building in the United States. The company no longer owns the building.

Merger of Kmart and Sears

On November 17, 2004, Kmart Corporation announced its intentions to purchase Sears, Roebuck and Company; the purchase was billed as a merger of equals. As a part of the merger, Kmart Corporation would change its name to Sears Holdings Corporation. It announced at the time that it would continue operate stores under both the Sears and Kmart brands.

The two companies cited several reasons for combining forces:

  • Sears had begun investing in new, larger off-mall stores, called Sears Grand stores. Earlier in the year Sears had purchased dozens of current Kmart locations; the merger permited the combined company to accelerate that process.
  • Proprietary brands held by both companies could be made more accessible to their target demographics by leveraging their combined real estate holdings. This was estimated to be an expected $200 million a year in revenue synergies.
  • At least $300 million a year in cost savings was expected annually, particularly in the supply chain and in administrative overhead.
  • The establishment of a shared customer-focused corporate culture between the two companies was estimated to yield improvements in revenue per unit area.
  • Preservation of two brands after the merger allowed Sears Holdings to continue focusing on different customer demographics, without alienating either group.

The new company would directed by a board of directors comprised of members from the two companies: seven members from Kmart's board, three from Sears'. Shareholders in Kmart Corporation received one share in the new company. Shares of Sears, Roebuck and Company stock was converted into a combination of 55% stock and 45% cash (at $50 a share). Stockholders had a choice of receiving either stock or cash, subject to the pre-defined ratio.

The merger was completed on March 24, 2005, after receiving regulatory approval from the government and approval by shareholders of both companies.

Sears Holdings today

Sears Holdings continues to operate stores under the Sears and Kmart mastheads. In 2005, Sears introduced a new store format, called Sears Essentials; Some Kmart locations are to be converted to the Sears Essentials format, while new locations will also be built. This new store format combines the Sears store concept with the Kmart format, which allows the company to better compete with Wal-Mart and Target.

In 2005, Nike announced that it would no longer allow its products to be sold in Sears stores. Analysts speculated that Nike did not want its shoes and apparel sold in Kmart stores, and terminated its sales agreement with Sears Holdings to prevent this.

Sears Holdings has began cross-selling merchandise between its two brands. For example, Craftsman tools are now available in Kmart stores; they were previously exclusive to the Sears brand.

Sears Holdings owns 55% of Sears Canada, a large department store chain in Canada, similar to the U.S. stores. Like Target stores, Kmart-branded stores in Australia belong to Coles Myer; Coles Myer also holds the rights to the Kmart brand in New Zealand.

Because Kmart Corporation changed its name to Sears Holdings and because it is converting some Big Kmart stores to Sears Essentials stores as a test, there is speculation that Sears Holdings may drop the Kmart name entirely in the next decade.

Stores

  • Kmart: discount stores (usually free-standing or located in strip malls) that carry electronics, music, movies, bedding, hardware, sporting goods, clothing, toys, jewelry, office supplies, health and beauty products, home décor, and a limited selection of food. Many stores also have a pharmacy and snack bar. About 84,000 to 100,000 square feet (7,800 to 9,300 m²).
  • Big Kmart: Carries everything a regular Kmart carries, but with a emphasis on home decor, children's clothing, and more food items. About 84,000 to 120,000 square feet (7,800 to 11,000 m²). Big Kmart stores also feature Garden Shop, and Kcafe or Little Caesar's Pizza station. Sears Holdings no longer builds these stores, but many Kmarts are still signed as Big Kmart or Big K. Many were changed back to plain Kmart or closed.
  • Super Kmart: Carries everything a regular Kmart carries, but has a full grocery section with meat, bakery, and deli. SuperCenters are about 140,000 to 190,000 square feet (13,000 to 18,000 m²). These stores are also known as Super Kmart, Super K, and Super Kmart Center. Several also include Kmart Express gas stations.
  • Sears: department store concept that is located in shopping malls; it carries clothing, jewelry, appliances, hardware, lawn and garden supplies, lawn mowers, paint, sporting goods and automobile repair and supplies. Sears stores are usually multi-level, and there are about 870 full-size Sears stores.
  • Kmart Foods: Kmart Foods was a grocery store that was found in 1962. Most Kmart Foods were together with K-Mart stores. They all closed in 1970s. The brand was reinvented in 1991 with K-Mart's launch of the Super K-Mart Center concept.
  • Sears Hardware: smaller area Sears stores that are operated as franchises; they are usually located in smaller markets that do not support a mall or full-size Sears. They are signed as Sears, and they are usually free-standing or located in a strip mall. They primarily concentrate on hardware, appliances, and lawn and garden supplies.
  • Sears Parts & Repair: Sears service centers that typically sell parts for appliances and also a carry-in point for customers to bring merchandise in that needs repaired either in or out of warranty. Typically labeled Sears Service Center or Sears Home Central, two names that also refer to the Parts and Repair centers. Sears has started closing many of these down as more and more of its service and repair business is home-based.
  • Sears Grand/Sears Essentials: located away from shopping malls (often free-standing); carries everything a regular Sears carries, plus health and beauty, toys, baby care, cleaning supplies, home décor, pet food, cards and party supplies, books, magazines, electronics, and a limited amount of food. Sears Grand stores are about 165,000 to 210,000 square feet (15,000 to 20,000 m²); Sears Essentials stores are about 70,000 to 100,000 square feet. These stores are essentially hybrids of a Sears and Kmart store.
  • Sears Home: A defunct Sears store which sold furniture which closed in 2001 after failing.
  • The Great Indoors: free-standing home décor stores that carry appliances, bedding, and kitchen and bath fixtures. These stores are about 130,000 square feet (12,000 m²).
  • Lands' End: Aside from carrying the Lands' End clothing line at Sears stores, Sears Holdings also operates 16 Lands' End stores that carry only Lands' End clothing. These stores are located in outlet malls and regular malls.
  • Orchard Supply Hardware: free-standing hardware stores that carry home repair, hardware products and lawn and garden supplies. Orchard Supply Stores are about 40,000 square feet (4,000 m²). There are currently 84 stores, all of them in California. Sears now owns 80.1% of the chain, and revealed intentions in May 2005 to spin it off.

Brands

Sears Holdings has many exclusive brands:

  • Craftsman tools
  • Kenmore appliances
  • DieHard car batteries
  • Martha Stewart-branded home decor, kitchen and home improvement items
  • Jaclyn Smith-branded clothing
  • Sesame Street-branded clothing
  • Thalia Sodi-branded clothing and jewelry
  • Lands' End clothing
  • Route 66 clothing
  • Joe Boxer underwear and home decor
  • Ty Pennington STYLE home decor

Major sponsorships

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series logo

Sears Holdings Corporation sponsors the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

The company is well-known for its charitable contributions, which it tends to keep quiet about.

Diversity

  • Sears Holdings received a 57% rating on the 2004 Corporate Equality Index published by the Human Rights Campaign.
  • Sears Holdings was named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers in 2004 by Working Mothers magazine.

Further Reading

  • Katz, Donald R. (1987) The Big Store: Inside the Crisis and Revolution at Sears Viking Press; New York
  • Stevenson, Katherin Cole, and Jandl, H. Ward, (1995) Houses By Mail: A Guide to Houses from Sears, Roebuck and Company John Wiley & Sons; Hoboken, New Jersey

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The company is well-known for its charitable contributions, which it tends to keep quiet about. After the choice, practically all these unique features have been removed from the updated designs in favor of a more simplified monolithic structure, putting into doubt whether or not the public would have chosen this new design had it been the one originally presented. Sears Holdings Corporation sponsors the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Some critics have noted that the initial choice for this design of the Freedom Tower was based on the elaborate latticework, the vertical gardens, and an otherwise unique shape after all the other design contenders were eliminated for being too unoriginal. Sears Holdings has many exclusive brands:. As of the latest design, there appears to be no attempt to integrate either concept into the tower. Because Kmart Corporation changed its name to Sears Holdings and because it is converting some Big Kmart stores to Sears Essentials stores as a test, there is speculation that Sears Holdings may drop the Kmart name entirely in the next decade. In the original Memory Foundations proposal, the Freedom Tower was to include a vertical garden memorial known as "Gardens of the World." This idea appeared to have been rejected on the basis of a lack of rentable value, and the gardens were replaced in the intermediate design by the wind turbines and latticework that proved to be less popular.

Like Target stores, Kmart-branded stores in Australia belong to Coles Myer; Coles Myer also holds the rights to the Kmart brand in New Zealand. It was most widely criticized for its immense latticework which many observed to look rather skeletal. stores. That intermediate design was probably the least popular of the three designs and appeared to be a predictable shortcoming that should have been foreseeable from such a compromise between diametrically opposed visions for the trade center site. Sears Holdings owns 55% of Sears Canada, a large department store chain in Canada, similar to the U.S. The latticework concept was actually a compromise between the Memory Foundations architect Liebeskind and Childs, who is largely responsible for the final redesign. For example, Craftsman tools are now available in Kmart stores; they were previously exclusive to the Sears brand. Before the empty frame of latticework entered the picture, an earlier design of the site, called Memory Foundations, was fairly well received in public opinion.

Sears Holdings has began cross-selling merchandise between its two brands. Some believe that the businessman Donald Trump has planned a reconstruction of the twin towers on another place in New York City. Analysts speculated that Nike did not want its shoes and apparel sold in Kmart stores, and terminated its sales agreement with Sears Holdings to prevent this. Many of them believe the absence of the iconic Twin Towers creates an ongoing emotional wound that can only be healed by rebuilding the towers as they looked before, as tall or taller. In 2005, Nike announced that it would no longer allow its products to be sold in Sears stores. These critics saw replacing two towers with a single, shorter tower would be inappropriately humbling and contrary to the proud nature of New York and the United States, even as a symbolic retreat in the face of terrorism. This new store format combines the Sears store concept with the Kmart format, which allows the company to better compete with Wal-Mart and Target. Other Freedom Tower opponents saw the previously-proposed latticework and antenna on top of the tower to be a mask of the reality that the tower's inhabited stories were to have been fewer than the Twin Towers, and in this way would therefore have been shorter than its predecessors.

In 2005, Sears introduced a new store format, called Sears Essentials; Some Kmart locations are to be converted to the Sears Essentials format, while new locations will also be built. There have also been accusations of corruption on the part of New York Governor George Pataki, using his influence to get the winning architect's bid picked as a personal favor for a close friend [4]. Sears Holdings continues to operate stores under the Sears and Kmart mastheads. Additionally, some architects contend that a taller building should have been considered, suggesting that for reasons of cost and engineering, taller buildings may actually be safer. The merger was completed on March 24, 2005, after receiving regulatory approval from the government and approval by shareholders of both companies. The redesigned tower is set to have 82 floors, more than the initial limit, but still far fewer than various comparable towers (even the much shorter Empire State Building has 102). Stockholders had a choice of receiving either stock or cash, subject to the pre-defined ratio. The floor limit was imposed by Silverstein, who expressed concern that higher floors would be a liability in a major accident or terrorist attack.

Shares of Sears, Roebuck and Company stock was converted into a combination of 55% stock and 45% cash (at $50 a share). The design of the Freedom Tower has generated some controversy due to the limited number of floors (a maximum of 70) that were designated for office space and other amenities. Shareholders in Kmart Corporation received one share in the new company. Some of the tenants of the World Trade Center are expected to return to the site in the Freedom Tower, including a new Windows on the World, which was formerly on the 106th floor of One World Trade Center. The new company would directed by a board of directors comprised of members from the two companies: seven members from Kmart's board, three from Sears'. The master planner of the World Trade Center site is architect Daniel Libeskind of Studio Daniel Libeskind, although David Childs of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, an architect hired by Silverstein, has largely supplanted Libeskind as architect of the Freedom Tower itself. The two companies cited several reasons for combining forces:. The Port Authority plans to occupy at least one-third of the office space, but no private-sector tenants have yet been found.

It announced at the time that it would continue operate stores under both the Sears and Kmart brands. The Port Authority estimates the Freedom Tower to cost US$1.5 to 2 billion alone, or about $675/ft² ($7300/m²). As a part of the merger, Kmart Corporation would change its name to Sears Holdings Corporation. However, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey owns the 16 acre (65 000 m²) site the tower occupies. On November 17, 2004, Kmart Corporation announced its intentions to purchase Sears, Roebuck and Company; the purchase was billed as a merger of equals. Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties, the leaseholder and developer of the complex, is the probable owner of the Freedom Tower when completed. The company no longer owns the building. The height of the Freedom Tower will probably not be increased before completion, due to the symbolism of having an exact height of 1,776 feet (541 m).

This building, located in Chicago, is the tallest building in the United States. Emaar, the builders of the Burj Dubai tower, are keeping the final height of their building secret, but speculation is that it will surpass all existing structures at a height of over 2,300 feet (700 m) when it is finished in 2008, two years before the Freedom Tower. Sears, Roebuck and Company built the famed Sears Tower, which was completed in 1974. If the spire and antenna height (the criteria of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) are included, the Freedom Tower might, when completed, qualify as the tallest office building in the world, if no other rival towers are completed first. A number of class action lawsuits have been prepared and successfully won against the company.[1]. Union Square Phase 7 and the Shanghai World Financial Center will have roofs and floors higher than Freedom Tower's highest roofs and floors. Sears has also been shouldered with the problem of keeping a sound legal basis for its actions. The Sears Tower, Taipei 101, and other buildings currently have occupied floors higher than the Freedom Tower.

In the late 1990s, the company's market share in many areas deteriorated rapidly as Wal-Mart drew away working-class consumers, and Federated Department Stores attracted wealthier consumers. Though not occupied by office space, the Freedom Tower's observation deck is set to be higher, at about 1,362 feet (415 m). Higgins sporting brand from 1908 until 1961, and this alienated them from their historical core of rural and working-class consumers. The World Trade Center's North Tower featured an occupied floor at 1355 feet (413 m). C. It is unique, yet it subtly recalls, in the sky, the tragedy that has happened here." [3]. In the early 1980s, Sears ceased selling shotguns, which had previously even been sold under their internal J. The building is simpler, architecturally.

Morgan Chase in August 2005. "It is a rare moment when new is better," said Design Partner David Childs, "I feel better about this than the original. The remaining card operations was sold to J.P. The new redesign much more closely resembles the character of the previous towers than did the original plans. In 2003, they sold their retail credit card operation to Citibank because the credit cards were draining profits from the company. Above the first 150 to 200 feet (50 to 60 m), the redesign may be as much a result of popular opinion and dissatisfaction in New York City with the previous design, or perhaps the growing popularity of the Twin Towers 2 movement, as with the concerns of safety. However, Sears Holdings does continue to produce speciality catalogs and the Holiday Wish Book. Upon the redesign, announced and revealed on June 29, 2005, the upper building design did actually change, and significantly.

In 1993, Sears stopped production of its general merchandise catalog because of sinking sales and profits. As of May 2005, no structural steel had been ordered. In the 1980s and 1990s, the company divested themselves of many non-retail entities, which were creating a burden on the company's bottom line. [2] The redesign is said to entail a smaller ground footprint, and it is not known if this means office space in the building will be reduced, or upper floors will be made larger or more numerous to compensate. This led to public opposition to Sears' policies, and alienated customers. "The building itself, except for the first 150 to 200 vertical feet (46–60 m), will be the same," said Port Authority Vice President Charles Gargano. Wal-Mart responded by creating Code Adam procedures to protect children that are in the store, whereas Sears initially ignored the risk, hoping it would go away on its own. In May 2005, it was announced that a redesign was being done to provide for security from ground level bombs.

Adam Walsh, the son of reporter John Walsh (America's Most Wanted), was abducted from a Sears department store in Hollywood, Florida, in 1981 at the age of six; his severed head was later found in Vero Beach, FL. People involved in the rebuilding effort say that the revisions that need to be made to the site's most prominent feature, the Freedom Tower, could delay the start of construction from several months to a year." [1]. Sears formerly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker of "S", which is now used by the Sprint Nextel Corporation. Security concerns outlined in April 2005 by the New York Police Department "have set off a serious reassessment of plans for the World Trade Center site. In 2004, Sears launched a new store concept called Sears Grand which it hopes will be a viable competitor to hypermarkets like Wal-Mart Supercenters. New York City is a suitable place to set such a light pointing towards the sky without complaints of light pollution by astronomers, as the night sky in locations near New York City is already far too bright for serious astronomical observations. In late 2004, the logo was switched from all upper case to upper and lower case. Also atop the spire will be an intense beam of light that will be lit at night and will likely be visible over a thousand feet (300 m) into the air above the tower.

Now it consists of the blue text, Sears, with a white line separating each letter down along the length of its strokes. On top of the spire, the antenna may, pending design finalization, be the new broadcasting system to various New York television channels and radio stations, replacing the antenna on top of the North Tower of the former World Trade Center complex. Previously, the Sears logo consisted of the name "Sears" in a rectangle. Although the roof area of any tower is comparatively limited, the building will implement a greywater recycling scheme involving rainwater collection. The current Sears logo was created in 1984. This will benefit internal daylight propagation; however, at this stage it is unclear how the corresponding issue of solar heat gain will be addressed. Roebuck was dropped from the name of the stores, though not from the official corporate name in the 1970s. "Ultra-clear" glass, as opposed to reflective or tinted glass, is proposed for the fenestration generally.

During the late 1980s, and as late as 1993, the Discover card was the only accepted credit card at many Sears retail locations. The windows on the side of the building facing in this direction will be equipped with specially tempered blast-resistant plastic, which will look nearly exactly the same as the glass used in the other sides of the building. It also introduced the Discover credit card in 1985. At its closest point, West Street will be 65 feet (20 m) away. It purchased Dean Witter and Coldwell Banker real estate in 1981, and started what became Prodigy as a joint venture in 1984. The building will no longer be 25 feet (7.6 m) away from West Street—with the redesign and smaller base (the same width and length now as each of the previous towers), the Freedom Tower will average 90 feet (27 m) away from the street. The company started the Allstate Insurance Company back in 1931 and had representatives operating in its stores as early as 1934. Other new safety features will include 3 foot (90 cm) thick walls for all stairwells, elevator shafts, risers, and sprinkler systems; extremely wide "emergency stairs"; a dedicated set of stairwells exclusively for the use of firefighters; and biological and chemical filters throughout its ventilation system.

It established several major brands of products such as Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard, and Tuff-skin. Interlocking reflective sheets of these materials along the facade will illuminate in turn as the sun moves across the sky above it. Sears diversified and became a conglomerate during the mid-20th century. The exterior of this base will be encased in reflective sheet metal cladding, likely stainless steel and titanium. The company was the largest retailer in the United States until the early 1980s but had dropped significantly in rankings by the time it merged with Kmart. The next 120 feet (37 m) immediately upward will also lack windows, containing only mechanical floors to fill out the massive cubic base of the building. After World War II, the company built many stores in suburban shopping malls. However, owing to security concerns, the first 30 feet (9 m) up will now lack windows and will rely instead on artificial lighting and openings from 30 to 80 feet (9 to 24 m) high to illuminate the area.

"I'm going to read the Sears catalog" was a polite way of saying "I'm going to the outhouse.". Like the World Trade Center, there will be a large public lobby, with 80 foot (24 m) ceilings, and a restaurant. In the days of outhouses and no readily available toilet paper, the pages of the mass-mailed catalog were used as toilet paper. This will be higher than the destroyed Twin Towers observation deck, and also slightly higher than the observation Skydeck of the Sears Tower in Chicago. The catalog also entered the language, particularly of rural dwellers, as a euphemism for toilet paper. Instead of 1100 feet (335 m), the new deck will allow views from 1362 feet (415 m), the ceiling height of the previous Tower Two. The Sears, Roebuck catalog was sometimes referred to as "the Consumers' Bible." The Christmas Catalog was known as the "Wish Book", perhaps because of the toys in it. Because there will no longer be a frame of latticework above the habitable space, the observation deck will now be higher than the previous design.

In addition to mail-order or rail shipment of large purchases, items could also be picked up at the Sears Store in a nearby town when retail outlets were opened. The turbines were expected to generate 20% of the building's power. The first free standing department store was opened October 5, 1925 in Evansville, Indiana. The latticework would have constituted nearly 30% of the building's height. Sears issued many catalogs and didn't open its first retail store until 1925, when the business was already 32 years old. Wind turbines are generally not suited for urban environments because of turbulence created by other nearby buildings; however, the singular height of the proposed tower would have presented a unique opportunity in this context. In 1908, the company began offering entire houses as kits, marketed as Sears Modern Homes, and by the time the program ended in 1940, over 100,000 had been sold. The Freedom Tower will not have the "skeletal frame" of latticework and wind turbines: these have been abandoned.

This laid important groundwork for supplying a home, possibly the largest single investment a typical family would ever make. There will now be a central spire drawing from precedents such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building rather than an off-center spire intended to echo the Statue of Liberty. People had learned to trust Sears for other products bought mail-order, and thus, sight unseen. The Freedom Tower will now consist of simple symmetries and a more traditional design intended to bear comparison with selected elements of the existing New York skyline. soon developed a reputation for both quality products and customer satisfaction. Many remaining vestiges of the concepts drawn from the 2002 competition have been discarded. Sears, Roebuck and Co. .

By the following year, dolls, icebox refrigerators, cook-stoves and groceries had been added to the catalog. The building is projected to be ready for occupancy in 2010. Alvah Roebuck had to resign soon after due to ill-health, but the company still retained his name. It is projected that steel for the building will be visible above ground in 2007, with a topping out in 2009. Organizing the company so it could handle orders on an economical and efficient basis, Chicago clothing manufacturer Julius Rosenwald became a part-owner in 1895. Construction on below-grade utility relocations, footings, and foundations for the Freedom Tower is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2006, four and a half years after the World Trade Center's destruction and three and a half years after The Pentagon was completely reconstructed. By 1894, the Sears catalog had grown to 322 pages, featuring sewing machines, bicycles, sporting goods and a host of other new items. The walls at the base are offset 45 degrees from the walls of the highest floor with interlocking triangle facades.

The catalog business grew quickly. Depending on which angle the building is viewed from, the Freedom Tower is designed to appear as either a rectangular shape like both of the previous towers, or as a massive obelisk design. Richard Sears knew that farmers often brought their crops to town where they could be sold and shipped, and then bought supplies, often at very high prices, from local general stores. However a project for a tower in Chicago, Fordham Spire, is expected to be taller and constructed as early as 2009. In 1893, the corporate name became Sears, Roebuck and Co.. The height of the Freedom Tower is intended to surpass the Sears Tower to become the tallest building in the United States, and to be among the tallest buildings in the world when completed. Roebuck who joined him in the business. The height to the top of the spire is set to be 1776 feet (541 m), symbolizing the year 1776, when the United States issued its Declaration of Independence.

The next year, he moved to Chicago, Illinois where he met Alvah C. The tower will be located in the northwest corner of the 16 acre (65,000 m²) World Trade Center site, bounded by Vesey Street, West Street, Washington Street and Fulton Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Soon he started a business selling watches. A revised design for the tower was formally unveiled on June 29, 2005, to satisfy security issues raised by the New York City Police Department in April 2005. Sears purchased them himself, and sold the watches at a nice profit to other station agents up and down the line, and then ordered more for resale. The Freedom Tower is the name given to the planned centerpiece building of the new World Trade Center complex in New York City, whose predecessors were destroyed in the attacks of September 11, 2001. Richard Sears was a railroad station agent in Minnesota when he received a shipment of watches which were unwanted by a local jeweler.

Many people lived in rural areas and typically farmed. In 1886, the United States contained only 38 states. Once a major presence in Canada, after being sold to Zellers in the late 1990s, which was subsequently bought by the Hudson's Bay Company, all Kmart stores there were either closed or converted to the Zellers name. The lime green prototype was abandoned for the new Kmart "Orange" concept that rolled out at 9 test stores nationwide.

However, Kmart could not afford a full-scale rollout. The new layout has wider aisles, better selection and better lighting. Kmart introduced 5 then new prototype stores with a new logo, layout and color scheme (lime green and gray) in 2002 with one in White Lake, Michigan and four in Peoria, Illinois. On May 6, 2003, Kmart officially emerged from bankruptcy protection as Kmart Holding Corporation and on June 10, 2003 it began trading on the NASDAQ as "KMRT".

After firing Conaway and Schwartz, It shut down more than 300 stores in the United States and laid off around 34,000 workers as part of a badly-needed restructuring. Similar to the Enron scandal, Conway and Schwartz were accused of misleading shareholders and other company officials of the company's financial crisis, while they were allegedly making millions and allegedly spending the company's money on planes, houses, boats, and other luxuries. On January 22, 2002, Kmart filed for bankruptcy protection; led into the bankruptcy by its then chairman Chuck Conaway and president Mark Schwartz. In August 2001, Target Corporation sued Kmart for false advertising; Target claimed that its "Dare to Compare" campaign routinely misstated both Kmart's and Target's prices.

The company could simply not afford to match Wal-Mart's prices. In addition, Kmart attempted to compete against Wal-Mart on price by introducing the "Blue Light Always" campaign, which ditched the original blue light concept for lower prices in general. In 2001, the stock scandal involving Martha Stewart severely hurt the corporation's image. No records exist of anyone actually shouting "Blue Light, Blue Light!" It has since ended the "blue light special" again.

This scheme aimed to generate more interest in Kmart from shoppers and the media, but failed because stores did not follow the procedure. When the announcement of the special took place over the public address system, music would fill the store and all employees would stop their current actions, clap twice and pump their fists in the air, shouting "Blue Light, Blue Light!". The company then brought back the "blue light special", which involved the manager announcing a promotion in-store every hour, on the hour—said special lasting for 25 minutes. The original "blue light special" had disappeared in 1991 due to changing consumer habits and misuse by individual stores (according to the company's official explanation).

Many business analysts also faulted the corporation for failing to create a coherent brand image. Furthermore, Kmart maintained a high dividend, which reduced the amount of money available for improving its stores. Unlike competitor Wal-Mart, it failed to invest in computer technology to manage its supply chain. In 1993 Kmart closed 110 stores.

In the 1990s, Kmart made a number of missteps, again. Rosie O'Donnell and Penny Marshall were among the company's most-recognized spokespersons. Other recognizable brands included Sesame Street and Disney. It also began to offer exclusive merchandise by Martha Stewart, Kathy Ireland, and Jaclyn Smith.

This then-new logo was replaced in 2004 with the current logo. However, most stores were not remodeled until the mid-1990s, some of which are not completely renovated today. In 1990, in an effort to change their image, Kmart introduced a new logo (dropping the old-style italic "K" with a turquoise "mart", created in the early 1970s), and gave many stores a very badly needed renovation. Inventory piled up, checkout lines grew, and customers abandoned the stores.

During the 1970s, the company's fortunes began to change; many of Kmart's stores were badly outdated and in decaying condition. The first Super Kmart Center opened in 1991 in Medina, Ohio. The first Big Kmart opened in 1996. In 1987, Kmart Corporation sold its remaining Kresge stores.

Kresge Corporation changed its name to Kmart Corporation. S. In 1977, S. During the 1970s, Kmart put a number of competing retailers out of business.

Kmart was also featured in the Oscar-winning 1988 film Rain Man, in which Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman both famously exclaim, "Kmart sucks!". The phrase "attention Kmart shoppers" also entered into the American pop psyche. Kmart became known for its "blue light specials": at surprise moments, a store worker would light up a mobile police light and offer a discount in a part of the store. Kmart Foods, a long forgotten, now defunct chain of Kmart supermarkets opened in in that same decade.

A total of 18 Kmart stores opened that year. The first Kmart department store opened in 1962 in Garden City, Michigan. By the 1920s, Kresge operated larger stores that offered a wider variety of merchandise and prices—precursors of the modern discount store. By 1912, the chain operated 85 stores.

Kresge. S. The store grew into a chain known as S. Kresge's first retail establishment, a five-and-ten-cent store, resembled those operated by Frank Woolworth.

Kresge Corporation, the predecessor of Kmart, in 1899 in Detroit, Michigan. Kresge founded the S.S. Sebastian S. .

The company maintains its corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates, and it maintains the Kmart brand from Michigan. The company operates 3,800 retail locations under the mastheads of Sears, Sears Grand, Sears Essentials, Kmart, Big Kmart, Kmart SuperCenter, The Great Indoors, Orchard Supply Hardware, and Lands' End stores. It was formed in 2005 by the purchase of Sears, Roebuck and Company of Hoffman Estates, Illinois by Kmart Corporation of Troy, Michigan. Sears Holdings Corporation NASDAQ: SHLD is the third largest retailer in the United States, behind Wal-Mart and The Home Depot.


. Ward, (1995) Houses By Mail: A Guide to Houses from Sears, Roebuck and Company John Wiley & Sons; Hoboken, New Jersey. Stevenson, Katherin Cole, and Jandl, H. (1987) The Big Store: Inside the Crisis and Revolution at Sears Viking Press; New York.

Katz, Donald R. Sears Holdings was named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers in 2004 by Working Mothers magazine. Sears Holdings received a 57% rating on the 2004 Corporate Equality Index published by the Human Rights Campaign. Ty Pennington STYLE home decor.

Joe Boxer underwear and home decor. Route 66 clothing. Lands' End clothing. Thalia Sodi-branded clothing and jewelry.

Sesame Street-branded clothing. Jaclyn Smith-branded clothing. Martha Stewart-branded home decor, kitchen and home improvement items. DieHard car batteries.

Kenmore appliances. Craftsman tools. Sears now owns 80.1% of the chain, and revealed intentions in May 2005 to spin it off. There are currently 84 stores, all of them in California.

Orchard Supply Stores are about 40,000 square feet (4,000 m²). Orchard Supply Hardware: free-standing hardware stores that carry home repair, hardware products and lawn and garden supplies. These stores are located in outlet malls and regular malls. Lands' End: Aside from carrying the Lands' End clothing line at Sears stores, Sears Holdings also operates 16 Lands' End stores that carry only Lands' End clothing.

These stores are about 130,000 square feet (12,000 m²). The Great Indoors: free-standing home décor stores that carry appliances, bedding, and kitchen and bath fixtures. Sears Home: A defunct Sears store which sold furniture which closed in 2001 after failing. These stores are essentially hybrids of a Sears and Kmart store.

Sears Grand stores are about 165,000 to 210,000 square feet (15,000 to 20,000 m²); Sears Essentials stores are about 70,000 to 100,000 square feet. Sears Grand/Sears Essentials: located away from shopping malls (often free-standing); carries everything a regular Sears carries, plus health and beauty, toys, baby care, cleaning supplies, home décor, pet food, cards and party supplies, books, magazines, electronics, and a limited amount of food. Sears has started closing many of these down as more and more of its service and repair business is home-based. Typically labeled Sears Service Center or Sears Home Central, two names that also refer to the Parts and Repair centers.

Sears Parts & Repair: Sears service centers that typically sell parts for appliances and also a carry-in point for customers to bring merchandise in that needs repaired either in or out of warranty. They primarily concentrate on hardware, appliances, and lawn and garden supplies. They are signed as Sears, and they are usually free-standing or located in a strip mall. Sears Hardware: smaller area Sears stores that are operated as franchises; they are usually located in smaller markets that do not support a mall or full-size Sears.

The brand was reinvented in 1991 with K-Mart's launch of the Super K-Mart Center concept. They all closed in 1970s. Most Kmart Foods were together with K-Mart stores. Kmart Foods: Kmart Foods was a grocery store that was found in 1962.

Sears stores are usually multi-level, and there are about 870 full-size Sears stores. Sears: department store concept that is located in shopping malls; it carries clothing, jewelry, appliances, hardware, lawn and garden supplies, lawn mowers, paint, sporting goods and automobile repair and supplies. Several also include Kmart Express gas stations. These stores are also known as Super Kmart, Super K, and Super Kmart Center.

SuperCenters are about 140,000 to 190,000 square feet (13,000 to 18,000 m²). Super Kmart: Carries everything a regular Kmart carries, but has a full grocery section with meat, bakery, and deli. Many were changed back to plain Kmart or closed. Sears Holdings no longer builds these stores, but many Kmarts are still signed as Big Kmart or Big K.

Big Kmart stores also feature Garden Shop, and Kcafe or Little Caesar's Pizza station. About 84,000 to 120,000 square feet (7,800 to 11,000 m²). Big Kmart: Carries everything a regular Kmart carries, but with a emphasis on home decor, children's clothing, and more food items. About 84,000 to 100,000 square feet (7,800 to 9,300 m²).

Many stores also have a pharmacy and snack bar. Kmart: discount stores (usually free-standing or located in strip malls) that carry electronics, music, movies, bedding, hardware, sporting goods, clothing, toys, jewelry, office supplies, health and beauty products, home décor, and a limited selection of food. Preservation of two brands after the merger allowed Sears Holdings to continue focusing on different customer demographics, without alienating either group. The establishment of a shared customer-focused corporate culture between the two companies was estimated to yield improvements in revenue per unit area.

At least $300 million a year in cost savings was expected annually, particularly in the supply chain and in administrative overhead. This was estimated to be an expected $200 million a year in revenue synergies. Proprietary brands held by both companies could be made more accessible to their target demographics by leveraging their combined real estate holdings. Earlier in the year Sears had purchased dozens of current Kmart locations; the merger permited the combined company to accelerate that process.

Sears had begun investing in new, larger off-mall stores, called Sears Grand stores.

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