Sears, officially named Sears, Roebuck and Co., is an American mid-range chain of international department stores which was founded by Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Roebuck in the late 19th century. Formerly a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Sears merged with Kmart in early 2005, creating the Sears Holdings Corporation.
From its mail order beginnings, the company grew to become the largest retailer in the United States by the mid-20th century, and its catalogs became famous. Competition and changes in the demographics of its customer base challenged the company after World War II as its rural and inner city strongholds shrank and the suburban markets grew. Eventually its catalog program was largely discontinued. more