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During the 1970s, the company's fortunes began to change; many of Kmart's stores were badly outdated and in decaying condition.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. The Jeopardy! brand has been used on products in several other formats. Sears Holdings Corporation sponsors the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The original Art Fleming version of Jeopardy! was the subject of musician Weird Al Yankovic's parody of "Jeopardy" by the Greg Kihn Band, titled "I Lost On Jeopardy!". Sears Holdings has many exclusive brands:. "Celebrity Jeopardy" was a popular skit on Saturday Night Live featuring Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek. 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 an episode of Seinfeld, Jason Alexander's "George Costanza" demonstrates his newfound intellect by answering several difficult questions in a row correctly as he and Jerry Seinfeld watch an episode of the program.

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. In the 1993 comedy film Groundhog Day, Bill Murray's character watches an episode of the program and, having lived the same day over and over again (as per the film's plotline), answered all of the questions correctly, sometimes before they were asked. stores. In an episode of "Cheers," John Ratzenberger's "Clifford Clavin" appears on "Jeopardy," and almost wins, but loses in Final Jeopardy!. Sears Holdings owns 55% of Sears Canada, a large department store chain in Canada, similar to the U.S. Art Fleming appeared in a cameo role alongside the Jeopardy! board in 1982's Airplane II: The Sequel. For example, Craftsman tools are now available in Kmart stores; they were previously exclusive to the Sears brand. However, if they gave the correct response they did receive the money value of the question.

Sears Holdings has began cross-selling merchandise between its two brands. If any contest answered a question in the question form made popular by Jeopardy, that contestant was forced to wear a dunce cap. 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. A prime example of this was the Comedy Central show "Win Ben Stein's Money". In 2005, Nike announced that it would no longer allow its products to be sold in Sears stores. The show has been portrayed or parodied on many television shows, movies, and literature over the years, usually with one of the characters appearing as a contestant. 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. Main article: Jeopardy! in culture.

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. Clue Crew: Jon Cannon, Cheryl Farrell, Jimmy McGuire, Kelly Miyahara, Sarah Whitcomb. Sears Holdings continues to operate stores under the Sears and Kmart mastheads. Griffin, Gary Johnson, Michele Loud, Jim Rhine, Mark Gaberman, Andrew Shepard Price, John Duarte. The merger was completed on March 24, 2005, after receiving regulatory approval from the government and approval by shareholders of both companies. GSN—which like Jeopardy! is an affiliate of Sony Pictures Television—has rerun approximately 8 seasons to date, although they continuously aired the 1997–98 season from June, 2001 until June 13, 2005, when GSN began rerunning episodes from the 2001–02 season, including a series of unaired 2001 episodes which did not air because of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Stockholders had a choice of receiving either stock or cash, subject to the pre-defined ratio. The Trebek version is completely intact.

Shares of Sears, Roebuck and Company stock was converted into a combination of 55% stock and 45% cash (at $50 a share). The first episode and the second episode also exist in collections. Shareholders in Kmart Corporation received one share in the new company. The status of the 1978 version is unknown, although GSN aired this version's last episode on December 31, 1999, as part of a marathon of game show finales. 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'. It is believed that is all that is left of the run, as the tapes were destroyed by NBC. The two companies cited several reasons for combining forces:. In addition, an ordinary 1974 episode and the 1975 finale exist among private collectors.

It announced at the time that it would continue operate stores under both the Sears and Kmart brands. A clip from an earlier 1960s episode aired in 2004 during an ABC News Nightline special on Jeopardy! on the night Ken Jennings lost. As a part of the merger, Kmart Corporation would change its name to Sears Holdings Corporation. GSN has aired 1 episode from the 1964–75 Fleming version, the 2000th episode. On November 17, 2004, Kmart Corporation announced its intentions to purchase Sears, Roebuck and Company; the purchase was billed as a merger of equals. In addition, the American version of the show is distributed internationally and airs across the world. The company no longer owns the building. Israel's version is the most recent version of the A&Q show around the globe, starting in 1997.

This building, located in Chicago, is the tallest building in the United States. There are (or have been) versions of Jeopardy! outside of the United States, including a UK version hosted by Paul Ross (with Derek Hobson, Chris Donat and Steve Jones before him), an Australian version with Sale of the Century legend Tony Barber, versions from Sweden (from 1991) with Magnus Härenstam, Quebec (French Canada) with Réal Giguère (aired on TVA network from 1991 to 1993), Germany with Hans-Jürgen Bäumler (as Riskant! on RTL, 1990-1992), Frank Elstner (as Jeopardy! on RTL, 1994-1998), Gerriet Danz (on tm3, 2000-2001), Russia, from 1994, called Svoya Igra, with Pyotr Kuleshov, plus a version from Denmark with Søren Kaster (from 1995), Lasse Rimmer (from 2000), to Lars Daneskov (from 2003), and a version in Israel with Ronny Yovel. Sears, Roebuck and Company built the famed Sears Tower, which was completed in 1974.
. A number of class action lawsuits have been prepared and successfully won against the company.[1]. The theme has gone through some slight reorchestrations since then. Sears has also been shouldered with the problem of keeping a sound legal basis for its actions. The main theme was updated again in 2000 - this arrangement was similar to the previous one, but looser and more upbeat.

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. In 1997, both the theme and (much to the chagrin of some fans) the think music were updated, with jazzy orchestral arrangements by Steve Kaplan. Higgins sporting brand from 1908 until 1961, and this alienated them from their historical core of rural and working-class consumers. The main theme was remixed in 1991 to include a bongo track. C. When the current incarnation began in 1984, an electronic version of the "think music" melody became the main theme, while the original recording of "think music" was resurrected for the Final Jeopardy! round. In the early 1980s, Sears ceased selling shotguns, which had previously even been sold under their internal J. "Frisco Disco" would resurface in 1983 as a prize cue on Wheel of Fortune, and would continue to be used until 1989.

Morgan Chase in August 2005. The main theme to the 1978–79 revival was called "Frisco Disco" and was composed by Merv Griffin. The remaining card operations was sold to J.P. On the finale episode with Art Flemings in 1975, the theme used was "Smile" originally composed by Charlie Chaplin. In 2003, they sold their retail credit card operation to Citibank because the credit cards were draining profits from the company. The main theme song to the original 1960s version is called Take 10 and was composed by Merv Griffin's wife, Julann. However, Sears Holdings does continue to produce speciality catalogs and the Holiday Wish Book. A few years after composing the song, Griffin added 2 timpani notes at the end so that it would meet the 30-second minimum length required to secure a copyright on the song.

In 1993, Sears stopped production of its general merchandise catalog because of sinking sales and profits. For example, the theme is often heard at baseball stadiums when the manager goes to the pitcher's mound to discuss a replacement. 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. In the United States, it has insinuated itself into everyday communication; the song applies to any situation in which someone is waiting for another to answer a question or make a decision. This led to public opposition to Sears' policies, and alienated customers. The theme song, "Time for Tony," which was composed by Merv Griffin as a lullaby for his son, has served as the "think music" of the Final Jeopardy! countdown since the show's inception in 1964 (although it was not used in the 1978–79 version), and is also the melody for the current theme. 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. The mandatory waiting period after taking the contestant exam is one year, after which one may try out again.

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. Fifteen children ages ten to twelve are chosen for each filming, along with one alternate. Sears formerly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker of "S", which is now used by the Sprint Nextel Corporation. One is called or notified by the station on which one views Jeopardy! if one is to appear on the show. 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. One does bring one's anecdotes and information sheet, but one first plays the mock Jeopardy! game, then takes a thirty question test. In late 2004, the logo was switched from all upper case to upper and lower case. Tryouts for the Kids Weeks are slightly different.

Now it consists of the blue text, Sears, with a white line separating each letter down along the length of its strokes. Those in the contestant pool may be called at any time in that year, although the show has more potential contestants than it needs and many people are not called at all. Previously, the Sears logo consisted of the name "Sears" in a rectangle. After the end of the tryout, those who passed the test and participated in the mock Jeopardy game are placed into the "contestant pool" and are eligible to be called to compete for the next year. The current Sears logo was created in 1984. The coordinators request that they finish by telling what they would do with any money they won on Jeopardy!. Roebuck was dropped from the name of the stores, though not from the official corporate name in the 1970s. After playing a few clues, the contestant coordinators give each potential contestant a few minutes to talk about themselves.

During the late 1980s, and as late as 1993, the Discover card was the only accepted credit card at many Sears retail locations. Having a lot of energy and using a loud, confident voice are considered to be huge advantages. It also introduced the Discover credit card in 1985. The emphasis is not on scoring points, or even having correct answers; the contestant coordinators know that they possess the knowledge to compete on the show, as they have already passed the test, and are looking for on-the-air-compatible qualities. It purchased Dean Witter and Coldwell Banker real estate in 1981, and started what became Prodigy as a joint venture in 1984. A game board is presented, and potential contestants are placed in groups of three to play the game. The company started the Allstate Insurance Company back in 1931 and had representatives operating in its stores as early as 1934. Then the third part of the audition, a mock Jeopardy! competition, begins.

It established several major brands of products such as Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard, and Tuff-skin. At this point the people who passed the written test are given paperwork to fill out, which details eligibility and availability. Sears diversified and became a conglomerate during the mid-20th century. Those who did not pass the test are dismissed, and those who did pass the test remain for the third phase of the audition. 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. Exact scores are not disclosed, only pass/fail results. After World War II, the company built many stores in suburban shopping malls. Some people who have auditioned speculate that the passing score varies depending on how many contestants are needed for the show.

"I'm going to read the Sears catalog" was a polite way of saying "I'm going to the outhouse.". Though some sources state that a score of 35 is passing, the contestant coordinators refuse to confirm or deny that and the official passing score is kept a secret. In the days of outhouses and no readily available toilet paper, the pages of the mass-mailed catalog were used as toilet paper. At the end of the fifty questions, the contestant coordinators take the completed answer sheets and grade them. The catalog also entered the language, particularly of rural dwellers, as a euphemism for toilet paper. A potential contestant has eight seconds to write down his or her response (no need to phrase in the form of a question here) before the next clue is read. 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. In the second section, fifty Jeopardy!-style clues in fifty different categories are displayed on a big screen at the front of the room and read aloud by Johnny Gilbert, the show's announcer.

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 staff tries to make the audition process entertaining. The first free standing department store was opened October 5, 1925 in Evansville, Indiana. The first is a pep talk of sorts from the contestant coordinator. Sears issued many catalogs and didn't open its first retail store until 1925, when the business was already 32 years old. There are three parts to the auditioning process itself. 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. Before one arrives, one is asked to bring along a filled-out form stating one's name and providing five anecdotes that one could potentially use during the on-air interviews.

This laid important groundwork for supplying a home, possibly the largest single investment a typical family would ever make. Tryouts for the regular version are given to many people at one time. People had learned to trust Sears for other products bought mail-order, and thus, sight unseen. In order to try out, one must be at least 18 years of age, unless one is auditioning for one of the "special" programs, such as the Teen Tournament or Kids' Week. soon developed a reputation for both quality products and customer satisfaction. Tryouts take place regularly at the Los Angeles Jeopardy! studio, and occasionally in other locations. Sears, Roebuck and Co. The Jeopardy! staff regularly offers auditions for potential contestants.

By the following year, dolls, icebox refrigerators, cook-stoves and groceries had been added to the catalog. As a result, Rutter is the all-time highest winner of any game show with $3,270,102, with Jennings a close second with $3,022,700. Alvah Roebuck had to resign soon after due to ill-health, but the company still retained his name. Jerome Vered finished third ($20,600), collecting $250,000. 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. Jennings placed second (with $34,599) and took home $500,000. By 1894, the Sears catalog had grown to 322 pages, featuring sewing machines, bicycles, sporting goods and a host of other new items. The final winner was Brad Rutter ($62,000 for the tournament final).

The catalog business grew quickly. This tournament pitted 144 former Jeopardy! champions against each other, with two winners moving on to face Ken Jennings in a 3-game final for a chance at $2 million. 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. Jeopardy! announced a new tournament on December 28, 2004, called the Ultimate Tournament of Champions, which began airing February 9, 2005. In 1893, the corporate name became Sears, Roebuck and Co.. Main Article: Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions. Roebuck who joined him in the business. Rutter wins the Million Dollar Masters Touranment and the $1 million grand prize.

The next year, he moved to Chicago, Illinois where he met Alvah C. Totals: Rutter $25,601; Newhouse $25,600; and Verini $7,600. Soon he started a business selling watches. Results were thus:. 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. Each of the five winners advance, with four non-winners filling wild-card spots. Richard Sears was a railroad station agent in Minnesota when he received a shipment of watches which were unwanted by a local jeweler. In May 2002, to commerate the Trebek version's 4,000th episode, the show returned to its New York roots when nine champions played in episodes taped at Radio City Music Hall to play for a $1 million bonus, with a standard tournament format.

Many people lived in rural areas and typically farmed. Three semifinal matches were played, with the winners competing in a two-day final. In 1886, the United States contained only 38 states. The Tenth Anniversary Tournament was a short five-day tournament aired in 1993 following the conclusion of the regular Tournament of Champions. 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 "Super Jeopardy!" tournament also featured 4 lecterns as opposed to the standard three. The lime green prototype was abandoned for the new Kmart "Orange" concept that rolled out at 9 test stores nationwide. The tournament was similar to the Million Dollar Masters and Ultimate Tournament of Champions (see below), although it was on a much smaller scale than that tournament.

However, Kmart could not afford a full-scale rollout. It featured top players during the first six years of the 1984 syndicated run, plus a notable champion from the original Fleming era. The new layout has wider aisles, better selection and better lighting. The first of these "all-time best" tournaments, "Super Jeopardy!" aired in 1990 on ABC. 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. There have been a number of special tournaments featuring the greatest players during the history of Jeopardy! These are listed below. 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". This tournament has been discontinued, largely due to advertisers wanting to pull in younger demographics.

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. For many years in the Trebek era, the show also had a Seniors Tournament, where contestants 50 or over played. 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. These tournaments are staged identically to the Tournament of Champions. On January 22, 2002, Kmart filed for bankruptcy protection; led into the bankruptcy by its then chairman Chuck Conaway and president Mark Schwartz. Two other tournaments are featured each season, and include:. 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 ToC lasts two weeks (10 shows), in the following manner:.

The company could simply not afford to match Wal-Mart's prices. Fifteen players - all five-time champions (before 2003) and the biggest winners among the other players - are invited to participate; starting in 2003, spots in the ToC are determined by length of the champion's reign (e.g., all 10-day champions, followed by all nine-day winners, etc.), with winnings serving as the tiebreaker. 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 ToC format during the Trebek era was nearly similar. In 2001, the stock scandal involving Martha Stewart severely hurt the corporation's image. Eleven ToC champions were crowned during the 11-year NBC run. No records exist of anyone actually shouting "Blue Light, Blue Light!" It has since ended the "blue light special" again. During the Fleming-era, the winner won $25,000 and a trophy.

This scheme aimed to generate more interest in Kmart from shoppers and the media, but failed because stores did not follow the procedure. During both the NBC and 1984 syndicated versions, there has been an annual Tournament of Champions, featuring five-time undefeated champions and other biggest winners during the past season. 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!". Jennings held the record for the highest total dollar amount won on Jeopardy! and any game show ever played, until the Ultimate Tournament of Champions (see below) when he was displaced by Brad Rutter, whose winnings came mostly with special tournaments. 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. This led to the remarkable winning streak of Ken Jennings, who currently holds most of the winning records on the show, including greatest number of appearances and regular season highest total dollar amounts won (excluding tournaments). 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). To mark the start of the current version's 20th season, in September 2003, the quiz show changed its rules so there is no winnings limit; a contestant keeps coming back as long as that contestant keeps winning (although automobiles were no longer awarded for five wins).

Many business analysts also faulted the corporation for failing to create a coherent brand image. Similarly, as part of the deal with Ford for the 2001-02 season, Ford also added a Volvo to the Teen Tournament prize package. Furthermore, Kmart maintained a high dividend, which reduced the amount of money available for improving its stores. From September 2001 until September 2003, the winner won a Jaguar X-Type. Unlike competitor Wal-Mart, it failed to invest in computer technology to manage its supply chain. From September 1997 until September 2001, an undefeated champion would also be awarded a choice of Chevrolet cars or trucks (Corvette, Tahoe, or two Camaros). In 1993 Kmart closed 110 stores. In previous seasons, a contestant who won five days in a row would be retired undefeated, with a guaranteed spot in the next Tournament of Champions.

In the 1990s, Kmart made a number of missteps, again. Starting in 1999, Jeopardy! began a "Back-to-School Week," which uses easier clues for the 10-to-13 year old contestants but is otherwise identical to the adult version. Rosie O'Donnell and Penny Marshall were among the company's most-recognized spokespersons. This show was not well received by fans or critics, and didn't last long. Other recognizable brands included Sesame Street and Disney. Rules differences from the adult version can be viewed by reading the Jep! article. It also began to offer exclusive merchandise by Martha Stewart, Kathy Ireland, and Jaclyn Smith. Contestants were between the ages of 10 and 13.

This then-new logo was replaced in 2004 with the current logo. The show aired in 1998 on Game Show Network (now GSN). However, most stores were not remodeled until the mid-1990s, some of which are not completely renovated today. "Jep!" was the children's version of Jeopardy!, hosted by cartoon voice artist Bob Bergen. 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. Other than the host being somewhat looser with the "phrase in the form of a question" requirement, the game was basically identical to Jeopardy!. Inventory piled up, checkout lines grew, and customers abandoned the stores. Hosted by Jeff Probst (of "Survivor" fame), this show used music-based categories.

During the 1970s, the company's fortunes began to change; many of Kmart's stores were badly outdated and in decaying condition. "Rock & Roll Jeopardy" was a music-intensive version of Jeopardy! that aired on VH1 from 1998 to 2002. The first Super Kmart Center opened in 1991 in Medina, Ohio. Regis Philbin was known for appearing on this week frequently, playing for Cardinal Hayes High School in New York. The first Big Kmart opened in 1996. However, these questions were actually wrong, with the correct question being a joke about another celebrity. In 1987, Kmart Corporation sold its remaining Kresge stores. The answers usually came from current events, and unlike the SNL version, the celebrities usually knew what the realistic question is.

Kresge Corporation changed its name to Kmart Corporation. Bush as a contestant. S. These bits usually include President George W. In 1977, S. Celebrity Jeopardy! has also been a regular skit on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. During the 1970s, Kmart put a number of competing retailers out of business. Will Ferrell's final episode featured a Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch in which Trebek himself appeared.

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 skits poke fun at the ineptitude of the starring celebrities at answering the sorts of questions which appear on Jeopardy!, along with their ineptitude at answering questions in general. The phrase "attention Kmart shoppers" also entered into the American pop psyche. Celebrity Jeopardy! has been spoofed numerous times on a Saturday Night Live sketch, with Will Ferrell appearing as Trebek, and Darrell Hammond usually playing Trebek's nemesis, Sean Connery. 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. Also, the rules are usually relaxed for Final Jeopardy!, where all players will play. Kmart Foods, a long forgotten, now defunct chain of Kmart supermarkets opened in in that same decade. Typically, the charity is guaranteed a certain amount ($10,000, with a $10,000 bonus added to the winner's score).

A total of 18 Kmart stores opened that year. Each celebrity chooses a charity to sponsor, and that charity is the recipient of the particular celebrity's winnings. The first Kmart department store opened in 1962 in Garden City, Michigan. Every so often (usually once a year), "celebrity weeks" are held in which the contestants are celebrities. By the 1920s, Kresge operated larger stores that offered a wider variety of merchandise and prices—precursors of the modern discount store. If a player struck out, he/she still received $100 for each correct response given. By 1912, the chain operated 85 stores. Super Jeopardy! was worth $5,000 to a first-day champion, with the jackpot increasing by $2,500 each day that champion successfully defended his/her title; with the five-day limit in place, that meant a potential total of $50,000 in just Super Jeopardy! earnings ($5,000 + $7,500 + $10,000 + $12,500 + $15,000).

Kresge. Giving an incorrect response earned the player a "strike," and blocked off that space on the board; three strikes ended the round. S. The object was for the contestant to provide any five correct responses in a straight line, Bingo style (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally). The store grew into a chain known as S. This round featured a new board of five categories with five clues in each, numbered 1–5 (and unlike the main game, not necessarily increasing in difficulty down the line). Kresge's first retail establishment, a five-and-ten-cent store, resembled those operated by Frank Woolworth. That contestant then got to play a bonus round called Super Jeopardy! (no relation to the special summer 1990 tournament of all-time champions as aired on ABC).

Kresge Corporation, the predecessor of Kmart, in 1899 in Detroit, Michigan. During the short-lived 1978–79 series, the lowest-scoring contestant was eliminated after the Jeopardy! Round, and Final Jeopardy! was not played; instead, whoever was ahead at the end of Double Jeopardy! became the champion. Kresge founded the S.S. The change was made so that contestants who had to pay to travel to Los Angeles would at least win enough money to cover airfare and lodging costs. Sebastian S. However, in 2002, it was changed so that the second place finisher gets $2,000 and the third place finisher gets $1,000. . Since 1984, in an attempt to discourage "runaway consolations" (where second- and third-place players keep money as close to that of the first-place winner as possible), only the champion wins the amount of money accumulated on the show, and the other two contestants win consolation prizes.

The company maintains its corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates, and it maintains the Kmart brand from Michigan. Before 1979, all contestants won their winnings in cash. 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 top prize was $25,000 in cash. It was formed in 2005 by the purchase of Sears, Roebuck and Company of Hoffman Estates, Illinois by Kmart Corporation of Troy, Michigan. On the syndicated once-a-week version which aired from 1974-75, the winner chose one of 30 spaces, each of which concealed a prize such as a vacation, a car, or cash. Sears Holdings Corporation NASDAQ: SHLD is the third largest retailer in the United States, behind Wal-Mart and The Home Depot. During the 1964 NBC and 1974 syndicated versions, all three contestants kept whatever cash they won.


. The top money-winner at the end of "Final Jeopardy!" is the day's champion and returns to the next show. Ward, (1995) Houses By Mail: A Guide to Houses from Sears, Roebuck and Company John Wiley & Sons; Hoboken, New Jersey. As losing a game because of forgetting two words made for very bad television, contestants have been instructed to write the beginning of their Final Jeopardy! question during the commercial break after Double Jeopardy! since the beginning of the 1985-1986 season. Stevenson, Katherin Cole, and Jandl, H. During the 1984-1985 season, a few contestants lost their games solely because they had forgotten to do this. (1987) The Big Store: Inside the Crisis and Revolution at Sears Viking Press; New York. As with the rest of the show, responses in Final Jeopardy! must be phrased in the form of a question.

Katz, Donald R. The light pen is automatically cut off at the end of the 30 seconds. Sears Holdings was named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers in 2004 by Working Mothers magazine. Contestants have 30 seconds to write a response on a card/electronic drawing board, again phrased in the form of a question. Sears Holdings received a 57% rating on the 2004 Corporate Equality Index published by the Human Rights Campaign. After the final commercial break, the clue is revealed. Ty Pennington STYLE home decor. The contestants then risk as little as $0 or as much money as they have accumulated, by writing it on a card (before 1979) or electronic drawing board (since 1984).

Joe Boxer underwear and home decor. In Final Jeopardy!, the host first announces the category, then the show goes into a commercial break (during which the staff comes on stage and advises the contestants while barriers are placed between the players to discourage looking at one another's answers). Route 66 clothing. It is unknown how the time normally used to play "Final Jeopardy!" would be filled, since this has never happened on the syndicated version. Lands' End clothing. It is currently unknown whether a three-way disqualification from "Final Jeopardy!" ever happened on the 1964 NBC version. Thalia Sodi-branded clothing and jewelry. There has never been an instance where all three contestants finished "Double Jeopardy!" with $0 or less, thereby disqualifying everyone from "Final Jeopardy!", at least on the 1984 syndicated version.

Sesame Street-branded clothing. The last show where two contestants finished "in the red" aired on February 23, 2005 during the Ultimate Tournament of Champions (only Jeff Richmond advanced to "Final Jeopardy!"). Jaclyn Smith-branded clothing. Usually, it is only one contestant that gets eliminated from "Final Jeopardy!" However, on rare occassions, two contestants have been disqualified from playing, leaving the first-place player to provide a question to the "Final Jeopardy!" answer alone. Martha Stewart-branded home decor, kitchen and home improvement items. If that happens, he/she/they is/are automatically eliminated from the game and not allowed to participate in the game's final round, "Final Jeopardy!" In that case, the contestant(s) receive consolation prizes, the third-place prize (or sometimes, second-place prize), as appropriate. DieHard car batteries. Sometimes, one or more contestants will finish "Double Jeopardy!" with either $0 or a negative score.

Kenmore appliances. The second round, Double Jeopardy! (a pun on double jeopardy), works like the first round, with the following exceptions:. Craftsman tools. For example, when the category was "A category about nothing" and the clue was "en español," Ken Jennings responded, "¿Qué es nada?" Also, on the episode aired April 12, 2005, in the category "From the French," the clue was "It's a hint or trace of something (sounds like of Campbell's)." Steve Chernicoff responded, "Qu'est-ce que c'est un soupçon?". Sears now owns 80.1% of the chain, and revealed intentions in May 2005 to spin it off. For responses calling for foreign words, contestants have phrased their response as a "what is" question correctly phrased in the foreign language. There are currently 84 stores, all of them in California. However, if a contestant corrects himself/herself before time expires, the response is ruled valid.

Orchard Supply Stores are about 40,000 square feet (4,000 m²). Fleming and Trebek will remind contestants to phrase their responses in the form of a question in the first round, but never during "Double Jeopardy!" or "Final Jeopardy!"). Orchard Supply Hardware: free-standing hardware stores that carry home repair, hardware products and lawn and garden supplies. For instance, if a player simply said "Titanic" as his/her response before his alloted time expired, he/she would be ruled incorrect because of the failure to reply in question form (even if "Titanic" were the correct response). These stores are located in outlet malls and regular malls. The phrasing rule ("What is ...") is quite strict, especially in the later rounds. 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. For easy questions, ringing in at the right moment is important.

These stores are about 130,000 square feet (12,000 m²). Now, in order to give all three contestants a fair shot at the clue, they must wait until the host finishes reading the question and the lights surrounding the board illuminate before they can ring in, and pressing the signaling button too soon locks it for one quarter of a second. The Great Indoors: free-standing home décor stores that carry appliances, bedding, and kitchen and bath fixtures. Before the 1985-1986 season, contestants could ring in anytime after the clue was revealed. Sears Home: A defunct Sears store which sold furniture which closed in 2001 after failing. Two other Daily Doubles were used, a Video Daily Double & Audio Daily Double. These stores are essentially hybrids of a Sears and Kmart store. A player may also indicate that they wish to make it a True Daily Double, meaning that they are wagering all the money that they have up to this point.

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. (They are permitted to make the wager of the maximum amount even if they have zero or negative score.) The minimum wager is $5. 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. They can wager as much as the maximum amount of a clue on the board (currently $1000 in the Jeopardy! round and $2000 in the Double Jeopardy! round) or as much as they have accumulated, whichever is greater. Sears has started closing many of these down as more and more of its service and repair business is home-based. Only the contestant who selects a Daily Double can respond to its clue. Typically labeled Sears Service Center or Sears Home Central, two names that also refer to the Parts and Repair centers. In each game, three answers are designated Daily Doubles (a name taken from horse racing): one in the Jeopardy! round and two in the Double Jeopardy! round.

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. Speaking of which, negative scores often do happen, thanks to having enough incorrect responses. They primarily concentrate on hardware, appliances, and lawn and garden supplies. The current scores are shown on the front of each player's podium; on the current set, positive scores are shown in blue, negative scores in red. They are signed as Sears, and they are usually free-standing or located in a strip mall. If all three contestants fail to answer or give wrong questions, the correct answer is read, and the player who gave the last correct response chose the next clue. 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. If he/she is incorrect, failed to answer in time or phrase in the form of a question, that amount is deducted (hence, the dollar amount was always in jeopardy) and his/her opponents could answer.

The brand was reinvented in 1991 with K-Mart's launch of the Super K-Mart Center concept. A correct response wins the dollar value of the clue, and gives him/her the right to select the next clue. They all closed in 1970s. The host then reads the "answer" ("He was the Father of Our Country; he didn't really chop down a cherry tree"), after which any of the three contestants may ring in, remembering to phrase the response in question form ("Who was George Washington?"). Most Kmart Foods were together with K-Mart stores. The returning champion (standing at the leftmost lectern) begins the game by selecting a category and monetary value ("Presidents for $200"). Kmart Foods: Kmart Foods was a grocery store that was found in 1962. The values of each of the five answers are thus:.

Sears stores are usually multi-level, and there are about 870 full-size Sears stores. The names of the six categories are sometimes related in some way (e.g., titles of Shakespeare plays, although only one may actually concern the famous playwright). 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. Each category is a topical category, and the categories change on each show; frequently, they contain puns or other wordplay. Several also include Kmart Express gas stations. Six categories are announced, each with a column of five trivia "answers" (ergo, questions written in answer form), ostensibly graded by difficulty. These stores are also known as Super Kmart, Super K, and Super Kmart Center. The first round is simply called the "Jeopardy!" round.

SuperCenters are about 140,000 to 190,000 square feet (13,000 to 18,000 m²). Each day, there are three contestants, one of whom is usually the champion, who play a three-round game. 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. The show was the subject of great interest and increased ratings (often beating Wheel) in the second half of 2004, as contestant Ken Jennings, taking advantage of newly relaxed appearance rules, remained a champion for seventy-four appearances, winning over US$2.5 million, and breaking almost every record in game show history. Sears Holdings no longer builds these stores, but many Kmarts are still signed as Big Kmart or Big K. In 2005, it won its 10th Daytime Emmy for best game show, surpassing Pyramid.

Big Kmart stores also feature Garden Shop, and Kcafe or Little Caesar's Pizza station. The current version, with Trebek as host and Johnny Gilbert as the announcer, debuted on September 10, 1984 (according to page 30 of Ray Richmond's book This is Jeopardy!), and perennially ranks second to Wheel of Fortune in the Nielsen ratings of syndicated programs. About 84,000 to 120,000 square feet (7,800 to 11,000 m²). The 1964 to 1975 airings originated from NBC headquarters in New York's Rockefeller Center; it has been based in Southern California starting with the 1978 revival. Big Kmart: Carries everything a regular Kmart carries, but with a emphasis on home decor, children's clothing, and more food items. (John Harlan was that edition's principal announcer.). About 84,000 to 100,000 square feet (7,800 to 9,300 m²). Fleming also hosted a short-lived syndicated version in 1974-75, and another short-lived NBC revival, The All-New Jeopardy!, from October 2, 1978 to March 2, 1979 for 105 shows.

Many stores also have a pharmacy and snack bar. Art Fleming hosted and Don Pardo was the announcer on the original version, which aired during the day from March 30, 1964 to January 3, 1975 on NBC for 2,753 shows. 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. Griffin thought the "Jeopardy" name sounded perfect and immediately used it to generate puns like naming the second round of the game Double Jeopardy. Preservation of two brands after the merger allowed Sears Holdings to continue focusing on different customer demographics, without alienating either group. The name "Jeopardy" was coined when, according to Griffin, a skeptical producer rejected the show claiming "it doesn't have enough jeopardies" (a reasonable complaint, since a winning player in Jeopardy can maintain his lead relatively easily by avoiding risk). The establishment of a shared customer-focused corporate culture between the two companies was estimated to yield improvements in revenue per unit area. The original twist, giving clues in the form of answers and expecting replies in the form of questions, was originally the central concept of the show, which was pitched under the title "What's the Question?".

At least $300 million a year in cost savings was expected annually, particularly in the supply chain and in administrative overhead. The Jeopardy concept was originally created by Merv Griffin, who wanted to take the format of a television quiz show and make it more enticing by speeding up the game and putting a twist on the format. 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. During the game, the three competing contestants are given a clue in the form of an answer, to which they must give a response phrased as a question. Earlier in the year Sears had purchased dozens of current Kmart locations; the merger permited the combined company to accelerate that process. Jeopardy! is a game of trivia, usually covering topics such as history, literature, and pop culture.

Sears had begun investing in new, larger off-mall stores, called Sears Grand stores. Its most successful incarnation is the current Alex Trebek-hosted syndicated version, which has aired continuously since September 1984. The show originated in the United States, where it first ran on NBC from 1964 to 1975 and again from 1978 to 1979. Jeopardy! is a popular international television game show, originally devised by Merv Griffin, who also created Wheel of Fortune. A Jeopardy! DVD was released on November 8, 2005.

The watch plays the famous theme song with the push of a button, and included 25 game cards with the answer-question format. For the show's 15th season in 1998-1999, a watch was released. In the 1992 film White Men Can't Jump, Gloria Clemente, played by Rosie Perez, becomes a Jeopardy! champion. Several board game versions of the game have been produced by Pressman Toys, including a Simpsons version.

Tiger Electronics also marketed a hand-held travel version of the game in the late nineties. There have been Jeopardy! video games made on almost every popular platform including Apple II, Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo Game Boy, Sega Game Gear, Sega Genesis, Super NES, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast, Apple Macintosh, PlayStation 2, and Microsoft Windows. Music: Steve Kaplan. Set Decorators:Heather Lynne Rasnick,Heather DeCristo.

Hairdresser: Renee Ferruggia. Make-Up: Cherie Whitaker, Sandy Reimer-Morris. Wardrobe:Alan Mills. Deko Operator:Joseph Servillo.

Viedotape Editors:Kirk Morri,Keith Fernandes. Game Board Operator: Michele Lee Hampton. Video: Ross Elliott. Prop Master: Jeff Schwartz.

Key Grip: Luke Lima. Cameras: Diane Farrell, Marc Hunter, Randy Gomez, Ray Reynolds, Jeff Schuster, Mike Tribble. Audio:Cole Coonce. Gaffer: Brian McElroy.

Engel. Lighting Designed By: Jeffrey M. Technical Director: Robert Ennis, Jr. Travel Coordinator:Christy Myers.

Assistant Production Accountant:Reda Smith-Watson. Assistant to the Executive Producer:Yvette Sapanza. Publicity Coordinator: Sara Kaplan. Segment Coordinator:Chole Corwin.

Clearance Assistant:Stacy Oki-Skredsvig. Clearance Coordinator:Jennifer Haugland. Clip Clearance & Licensing Coordinator:Shannon White-Lee. Music Supervisor:Sean Sasahara.

Special Projects Coordinators:Bob Ettinger,Dan Kozlowski. Office Manager:Luci Sweron. Senior Production Accountant:Christina Gabaig. Director,Special Projects:Annie Crowe.

Senior Marketing Manager:Annettte Dimatos-Schwartz. Promotions Coordinator: Kevin DeLarios. Production Coordinator: Nakeshia Carroll. Post Production Manager:Kelli Cardona.

Field Producer:Brett Schneider. Promotion Managers: Grant Loud, Sarah Wallace. Senior Unit Publicist:Jeff Ritter. Erbstein,Lisa Dee,Suzy Rosenberg.

Executive Directors of Promotions:Rebecca L. Director Clip Clearance:Shelley Ballance. Segment Production Supervisor:Renee Rial-Reynolds. Contestant Coordinator: Tony Pandolfo, Robert James.

Senior Contestant Coordinator: Glenn Kagan. Contestant Executive: Maggie Speak. Production Designer: Naomi Slodki. Material Coordinator: Suzanne Jack.

Axeman, Sarah Beach, Matt Caruso, Ryan Haas, Michael Harris, Eric Johnson, Robert McClenaghan, Matthew Sherman. Researchers: Lorrianne P. Senior Researcher: Suzanne Stone. Stage Operations Supervisor:June Curtis-Nogosek.

Associate Segment Producer: Stewart Hoke. Segment Producer: Deb Dittman. Senior Production Supervisor: Randy Berke. Senior Technical Supervisor: Bob Sofia.

Stage Manager: John Lauderdale. Prichett. David Irete, John M. Charap, L.

Associate Directors: Joel D. Editoral Supervisor: Billy Wisse. Tamerius, Debbie. Writers: Kathy Easterling, Steve D.

Directed By: Kevin McCarthy. Senior Producers: Lisa Finneran, Rocky Schmidt, Gary Johnson. Executive Producer: Harry Friedman. The current one-day record is $75,000, set by Ken Jennings on July 23, 2004.

However, this requires choosing all of the Daily Doubles last and that they are all placed behind the lowest valued clues, which the odds are 3,288,600 to 1 against (assuming they are randomly placed, which they are not), wagering everything for each Daily Double, and again wagering everything in Final Jeopardy! Depending on placement and order of the Daily Doubles, a so-called "perfect game" (every question correct, always maximum wager when called to do so) can range from $208,000 to $566,400, with a mean of $374,400. The theoretical maximum win for a single day of Jeopardy! is $566,400. The show did not air until GSN aired the game in June 2005. In Season 18, Laude defeated 4-time champion Ramsey Campbell and Nancy Casbeer in a game which did not air because of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

His win was on the "lost episode" of the show which never aired in its rotation. Kevin Laude, a one-day champion, had to wait more than four years for his win to air. The Final Jeopardy! category was "Holidays", which was the also the same category used on their first show. The show's 3,000th episode had the same six categories used from the show's first episode in the first round.

Tuesday, May 1: Rutter $13,801, Newhouse $25,600, Verini $800. Monday, May 13: Rutter $11,000, Newhouse $0, Verini $6,800. Friday, May 10: Verini defeated Forrest and Perry. Thursday, May 9: Rutter defeated Frates and Cooper.

Wednesday, May 8: Newhouse defeated Harris and Shannon. Tuesday, May 7: India Cooper defeated Babu Srinivasan and Robin Carroll. Monday, May 6: Bob Verini defeated Leslie Shannon (WC) and Eddie Timaus. Friday, May 3: Chuck Forrest defeated Chuck Forrest (WC) and Eric Newhouse (WC) All three advance to semifinals.

Thursday, May 2: Brad Rutter defeated Claudia Perry (WC) and Kathleen Waits. Wednesday, May 1: Bob Harris defeated Rachael Schwarz and Frank Spangenberg. The college tournament was also played during the Fleming era, with the first Trebek-era college shows airing in the late-1980s. The winner earns $100,000 plus a spot in the Tournament of Champions.

The College Championship: Featuring college students. The first Teen Tournament aired in 1987. One of the most notable Teen champions was Eric Newhouse, who advanced to the finals of the 1989 ToC, and participated in the "Million Dollar Masters" and "Ultimate Tournament of Champions" tourneys. For many years, the winner also participates in the Tournament of Champions.

The winner receives $75,000 (plus, at various times through the run, a new car). The Teen Touranment: Featuring high school students. All non-winners - including the second- and third-place players in the finals - receive a guaranteed amount based on their finishing position; in addition, the runners-up in the finals receive additional cash equal to their score if it exceeds the guaranteed amount. The contestant with the highest cumulative score wins the grand prize ($100,000 from 1985-2001; $250,000 since 2002).

The contestant's cumulative total from both days is added together to determine his/her final score. The first-day score does not factor into the second day's scoring. Shows 9-10: The two-day finals. At this point, the game becomes a single-elimination affair, with each winner advancing to the finals.

Shows 6-8: The semifinals. Four "wild card" spots are available to those with the highest score among non-winners; ties broken by the highest score after "Double Jeopardy!". The five winners advance to the semi-finals. Shows 1-5: The quarterfinals, with three new contestants participating each day.

There has been one triple loss in a tournament, and a fifth wild card was added.) Scores coming to Double Jeopardy! break ties for a wildcard position. (A wild card is one of the usually four non-winners with the highest scores in the opening round of a tournament to advance. In case of a three-way loss in a tournament, nobody advances, and an additional wild card is added in the tournament. If there is a tie in a tournament episode, a tiebreaker question is played, but this has only happened on a few occasions.

Darryl Scott, he won another $13,401 the next day]; there have been few players who have held the co-champ title twice, though there has never been a three-way tie). Col. (One contestant in the Trebek era actually won the game with only $1 [then Air Force Lt. If more than one contestant ties for first place, they each win the money and come back, assuming that they each have at least $1.

The three-way loss has happened three times since 1984; the number of times this occurred during the 1964 NBC version is undetermined. If no contestant finishes with a positive total (i.e., at least $1), then nobody wins and three new contestants appear on the following show; in such cases the three players will participate in a backstage draw to determine player position. Also, in the 1978–1979 version only, only the two highest-scoring players at the end of Round 1 played Double Jeopardy!; the third-place player was eliminated before the start of the round. The contestant with the lowest amount of money at the end of the first round picks first in the second round.

2001–present: $400, $800, $1200, $1600, $2000. 1990 "Super Jeopardy!" tournament: 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500. 1984–2001: $200, $400, $600, $800, $1000. 1978–1979: $50, $100, $150, $200, $250.

1964–1975: $20, $40, $60, $80, $100. The value of each clue is double what it was in the first round (except in the case of the 1990 "Super Jeopardy!" tournament):

    . The categories are different. 2001–present: $200, $400, $600, $800, $1000 (these values were also used for the 1990 "Super Jeopardy!" tournament during the "Jeopardy!" round.).

    1984–2001: $100, $200, $300, $400, $500. 1978–1979: $25, $50, $75, $100, $125. 1964–1975: $10, $20, $30, $40, $50.

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