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Narrative History of Sears
  ⋅  1886 1925
  ⋅  1887 1930s
  ⋅  1890s 1940s to 1970s
  ⋅  1900s 1980s to today
  ⋅  Brief chronology
  ⋅  Detailed chronology
  ⋅  Modern milestones
History Q&A
  ⋅  What is the official name of Sears?
  ⋅  When was Sears founded?
  ⋅  WLS radio station
  ⋅  Sears National Baby Contest
  ⋅  Sewing machines
  ⋅  Refund check
  ⋅  Refund postcard
  ⋅  Rosenwald School Program
Sears & Art
  ⋅  Vincent Price Collection of Fine Art
  ⋅  Books and references
Annual Reports
  2002 1999
  2001 1998
Current News & Info
Sears newsroom
Fast facts
1886   Richard Sears starts selling watches to supplement his income as station agent at North Redwood, Minn.
1887 Sears settles in the company's first Chicago location and hires a watchmaker named Alvah C. Roebuck.
1888 Date of the earliest catalog featuring only watches and jewelry.
1893 Corporate name becomes Sears, Roebuck and Co.
1896 First large general catalog.
1911 Sears establishes testing laboratory.
1913 Sears launches the Kenmore® brand.
1916 Savings and Profit Sharing Fund of Sears Employees is established.
1925 First Sears retail store opens in catalog center on Chicago's west side.
1927 Sears launches the Craftsman® brand.
1931 Allstate Insurance Co. established.
1945 Sears sales exceed $1 billion.
1953 Simpsons-Sears, Ltd. established in Canada.
1973 Sears moves its national headquarters to Sears Tower.
1981 Sears acquires Dean Witter Reynolds Organization and Coldwell, Banker & Company.
1985 Discover Card introduced nationally.
1986 Sears celebrates its 100th anniversary.
1993 Sears sells (IPO) 20 percent of Dean Witter shares to public, spins-off remaining shares to shareholders. New company called Dean Witter, Discover & Co.
1993 • Sears sells 20 percent of Allstate to public.
• Sears sells Coldwell Banker Residential Services and Sears Mortgage Banking Group.
• Sears introduces popular "Come see the softer side of Sears" advertising campaign.
1995 Sears appoints Arthur C. Martinez as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.
1996 Sears launches the KidVantage Program.
1997 • Sears opens The Great Indoors stores.
• Sears makes Craftsman® tools available on-line.
• Sears becomes a founding sponsor of the Women's National Basketball Association.
1998 • Sears launches
• The Great Indoors debutes, opening its first store in Denver, CO.
1999 • Sears introduces "The Good Life at a Great Price" advertising campaign.
• Sears launches
2000 Sears appoints Alan Lacy as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer.
2001 Sears returns to downtown Chicago, opening a new flagship store on State Street.
2003 • Sears Grand debuted in West Jordan, UT.
2004 • Former P.O.W. Jessica Lynch and the National Military Family Association kicked off a new camp program, Operation Purple, for children of deployed military.
• Ty Pennington to partner with Sears in a broad range of activities, including advertising, product design and development, merchandising and support for the company's community outreach initiatives.
• Sears announced a new ad campaign, the first to feature Ty Pennington, the star of ABC's smash hit, Extreme Makeover Home Edition.
2005 • Sears announced the launch of the company's newest off-mall format - Sears Essentials.
• The merger of Kmart and Sears as Sears Holdings Corporation, followed affirmative shareholder votes of both companies.
• National Military Family Association and Sears expand free camp program for children of deployed servicemembers.
• Sears commits up to $1 million to support Gulf Coast residents following Hurricane Katrina.
• Aylwin B. Lewis is named Chief Executive Officer and President of Sears Holdings.
• All advertising for Sears and its brands under one agency - Young & Rubicam, a member of the WPP Group.
• Latina Life, one of the first women's clothing lines launched by a major retailer and a leading Hispanic-focused media partner.
• Sears adds DieHard(R) batteries to nearly 1,400 Kmart stores nationwide.
• Sears card available in Kmart stores.
2006 • Craftsman tools now sold at K-Mart.
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