Settles in Chicago
The following year, Sears moved his business to
Chicago and inserted a classified ad in the Chicago Daily News.
"WANTED: Watchmaker with reference who can furnish
tools. State age, experience and salary required.
ADDRESS T39, Daily News."
Indiana lad, Alvah C. Roebuck answered the ad. He told
Sears he knew watches and brought a sample of his work
to prove it. Sears hired him. Here began the association
of two young men, both still in their twenties, that was
to make their names famous. For it was in 1893 that the
corporate name of the firm became Sears, Roebuck and Co.
By the time Sears was started, farmers in rural America
were selling their crops for cash and buying what they
needed from rural general stores. But when they laid
their money on the line for goods, farmers saw red. In
1891 the wholesale price of a barrel of flour was
reported to be $3.47. Price at retail was at least $7, a
100 percent increase. Farmers formed protest movements,
such as the Grange, to do battle against high prices and
Sears, Roebuck and Co. and other mail-order companies
were the answer to farmers' prayers. Thanks to volume
buying, to the railroads and post office, and later to
rural free delivery and parcel post, they offered a
happy alternative to the high-priced rural stores. Years
later the company adopted the motto "Shop at Sears
and Save." Because farmers could do so in the
1890s, Sears prospered.