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Old 11-06-2017, 12:44 PM
Jim B. Jim B. is offline
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Sears Without Roebuck?

They have been closing down many of the Sears stores. And this got me to thinking about something that I have wondered for some time now--actually since I was a kid.

Why do they call them "Sears" stores? It's "Sears Roebuck & Company". What happened to Mr. Roebuck? Doesn't he matter?

BTW, this is factual answer I am looking for. Not a debate. Thank you for your compliance in this matter.

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  #2  
Old 11-06-2017, 12:59 PM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is offline
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I don't know about informally but formally Sears Roebuck became Sears Holdings in 1995 when they were bought out by Kmart.
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2017, 01:08 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is online now
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Sears and somebody else bought out Roebuck before the turn of the century (that's the 19-20 century turn) though it continued to be called Sears, Roebuck and Co. That could be why, but more likely it's just a name shortening for common use.
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Old 11-06-2017, 01:10 PM
DCnDC DCnDC is offline
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The company began in 1886 with railroad agent Richard Warren Sears, who was left with a shipment of unwanted watches. He purchased the lot and resold them; soon he was running his own mail-order watch business. A year later he partnered with Alvah C. Roebuck and they expanded their offerings to all kinds of other products.

In 1893 they renamed the company Sears, Roebuck & Co. Just two years later in 1895 Roebuck sold out his half to Sears. He would later return to the company during the Great Depression in a diminished capacity as "company historian."

Interestingly, a few years prior to that in the late 1880's it was Sears who repeatedly wanted out, and Roebuck obliged him, buying out Sears then later reselling back to him, several times.
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:39 PM
glowacks glowacks is offline
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I played an online game once back in the early days of the internet set at a time that Sears was a fairly young company. The game heavily implied that it was correctly called "Sear's" by spelling it that way. However, the writer of the game was English (or at least British) and so it appears he just assumed that the 's' was possessive. From that short bit of flavorful text in the game, I had assumed that's how the company was originally named. I didn't bother checking it against anything as it was a totally trivial point of knowledge, but now that someone else has presented information that contradicts it, I have indeed confirmed that the guy's name was Sears, and not Sear.

Unless there was some other mail-order company around the same time called "Sear's", but it seems unlikely.
  #6  
Old 11-07-2017, 01:50 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glowacks View Post
I played an online game once back in the early days of the internet set at a time that Sears was a fairly young company.
Either the internet existed much earlier than I thought or Sears wasn't that young a company.
  #7  
Old 11-07-2017, 02:19 PM
yabob yabob is offline
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Originally Posted by Saint Cad View Post
I don't know about informally but formally Sears Roebuck became Sears Holdings in 1995 when they were bought out by Kmart.
2005, and it would be better to say that Sears and Kmart (which had just emerged from chapter 11) merged, with Sears Holdings formed to operate both as subsidiaries. With hedge fund manager / real estate mogul Eddie Lampert as board chairman (later CEO).
  #8  
Old 11-07-2017, 03:54 PM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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I will simply point out that people referred to the "Sears Catalogue" as far back as I can remember (the mid-60s), rather than the Sears, Roebuck & Co. Catalogue. The stores also were simply titled "Sears" on the buildings back then. So the shortening of the store name has been something going on for a long, long time.
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:51 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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Those of us old enough to have memories that should be dimming, but for some reason aren't, may also remember a competing department store named Montgomery Ward, which eventually became shortened to just Ward or Ward's.
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:59 PM
snfaulkner snfaulkner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glowacks View Post
I played an online game once back in the early days of the internet set at a time that Sears was a fairly young company. The game heavily implied that it was correctly called "Sear's" by spelling it that way. However, the writer of the game was English (or at least British) and so it appears he just assumed that the 's' was possessive. From that short bit of flavorful text in the game, I had assumed that's how the company was originally named. I didn't bother checking it against anything as it was a totally trivial point of knowledge, but now that someone else has presented information that contradicts it, I have indeed confirmed that the guy's name was Sears, and not Sear.

Unless there was some other mail-order company around the same time called "Sear's", but it seems unlikely.
Might that have been done to cleverly avoid using the trademark? I know Illuminati uses a lot of just vaguely similar joke names of real things. Instead of MTV they had Empty Vee and so forth...
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:45 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Once upon a time there was a store in Minneapolis named Goodfellows. When Goodfellow retired, he sold the store to Dayton. Dayton eventually merged with J.L. Hudson and officially became Dayton-Hudson.

Side note: Dayton-Hudson sold Lipman's to Marshall Field's in 1979. In 1990 it bought Marshall Field's, getting back Lipman's - which by then had been renamed Frederick & Nelson.

Now the corporation is known as Target. Heck, at least some people remember there was a Roebuck.
  #12  
Old 11-08-2017, 09:45 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Right now I am in the Hackensack, NJ library, about two blocks from the Hackensack Sears, which still has the "& Roebuck Co." on the tower's sign.
  #13  
Old 11-08-2017, 09:54 AM
minor7flat5 minor7flat5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
Those of us old enough to have memories that should be dimming, but for some reason aren't, may also remember a competing department store named Montgomery Ward, which eventually became shortened to just Ward or Ward's.
No, that isn't how I remember it at all...

...it was shortened to Monkey Wards whenever my mom said it.
  #14  
Old 11-08-2017, 10:02 AM
yabob yabob is offline
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... Heck, at least some people remember there was a Roebuck.
Except they often referred to it as "Sears Sawbuck", much like calling Montgomery Ward "Monkey Ward". Of course when those businesses were healthy they probably didn't care much what people called them, as long as they continued to come through the doors.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:26 PM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint Cad View Post
I don't know about informally but formally Sears Roebuck became Sears Holdings in 1995 when they were bought out by Kmart.
A buddy of mine worked for Sears in the IT department. After the renaming, it took them some time to realize the new acronym might need some tweaking...
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Old 11-08-2017, 02:03 PM
nightshadea nightshadea is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
Those of us old enough to have memories that should be dimming, but for some reason aren't, may also remember a competing department store named Montgomery Ward, which eventually became shortened to just Ward or Ward's.
swiss colony who has become a mail order king in recent years used Montgomery wards as a trademark but it was just the same stuff they sold in their other 30 catalogs we haven't received one in a while so I dont know if they still send them out ....
  #17  
Old 11-08-2017, 05:19 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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At a Christmas gathering, Sam Walton was worried about his extended family's health. So he challenged them to all make a New Year's resolution to eat healthier, exercise more, and lose weight. In the following year, they collectively lost over two thousand pounds. To celebrate, Sam Walton renamed his Walton's department store chain to WalMart, symbolically dropping the ton that his family had lost.

If you wait ten minutes, you can verify this story on Wikipedia.
  #18  
Old 11-08-2017, 11:26 PM
Jim's Son Jim's Son is offline
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Those of us old enough to have memories that should be dimming, but for some reason aren't, may also remember a competing department store named Montgomery Ward, which eventually became shortened to just Ward or Ward's.
Anytime my father met someone from a different area, he would invariably ask “is your town a Sears town or a Montgomery Ward’s town?
  #19  
Old 11-09-2017, 09:26 AM
SmartAlecCat SmartAlecCat is offline
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Within the last few months, a credit card charge at Sears showed up on my bill from "SEARS ROEBUCK #xxxx"
  #20  
Old 11-09-2017, 11:45 AM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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Didn't Hiawatha kill the Roebuck?
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  #21  
Old 11-09-2017, 11:50 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is offline
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If you wait ten minutes, you can verify this story on Wikipedia.
  #22  
Old 11-13-2017, 06:45 PM
MacLir MacLir is offline
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Didn't Hiawatha kill the Roebuck?
Doubtful.

Hiawatha was Native American, and roebucks are European. So far as I know they were never introduced to North America.
  #23  
Old 11-14-2017, 02:08 PM
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Sears sells a house brand of denim called "Roebuck & Co."


Powers &8^]
  #24  
Old 11-14-2017, 02:25 PM
cochrane cochrane is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glowacks View Post
I played an online game once back in the early days of the internet set at a time that Sears was a fairly young company. The game heavily implied that it was correctly called "Sear's" by spelling it that way. However, the writer of the game was English (or at least British) and so it appears he just assumed that the 's' was possessive. From that short bit of flavorful text in the game, I had assumed that's how the company was originally named. I didn't bother checking it against anything as it was a totally trivial point of knowledge, but now that someone else has presented information that contradicts it, I have indeed confirmed that the guy's name was Sears, and not Sear.

Unless there was some other mail-order company around the same time called "Sear's", but it seems unlikely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by snfaulkner View Post
Might that have been done to cleverly avoid using the trademark? I know Illuminati uses a lot of just vaguely similar joke names of real things. Instead of MTV they had Empty Vee and so forth...
I have played video baseball games that renamed the General Motors fountain (now known as Chevrolet Fountain) in Detroit's Comerica Park to "Admiral Motors" for precisely that reason, as well as removing the giant John Hancock sign from the scoreboard in Fenway Park.
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