A look back at the department store Sears from the 1950s.
By the early 20th century, Sears was already a household name across the United States. In an era when print media reigned supreme, Sears dominated the rural retail market through its huge catalog, an amazing work of product advertising, consumer education, and corporate branding.
In the United States, the number of Sears stores passed 700 by the mid-1950s. During this time, Sears began to shift its focus from urban to suburban markets. The Sears name soon became synonymous with the suburban shopping experience. Their large department stores anchored shopping malls all over the country.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that Sears began to lose its footing. Skyrocketing inflation during the late 1970s meant low-price retailers such as Target, Kmart and Walmart, which lured away new customers.
Sears was innovative in founding some of our most familiar brands, including: