Shopping in the Sears Outlet stores may be a great way to get some great merchandise, even first run and brand new items at very good discounts. In addition to brand new items, there are others, such as returns and items that are slightly damaged that might be even lower in cost. Sears is one of the oldest retail stores in the United States of America with a long and colorful history. From its days as a catalog company to its current status as a standalone store/outlet store/online store, it is a place that offers many name brands including Kenmore, Craftsmen and more.
The History of the Sears Brand
Founded in 1886 by Alvah Curtis Roebuck and Richard Warren Sears, the official name of the company was Sears Roebuck and Company. It had become the largest retailer in the nation by the mid Twentieth Century. After several name changes and updates, the store became Sears and merged with the Kmart brand in 2005.
Sears was focused on its catalog sales, targeting rural farmers who were often forced to pay much higher prices in towns that were quite a distance away. After the farmer would finish with his shopping, the catalog was often used as toilet paper in the outhouses. After years of great success, Sears stopped printing its catalogs, including the once yearly book they called the Wish Book, and moved much of its operation to its website and the retail stores. The Wish Book was put out near the Christmas holidays so that children could mark the items that they wanted Santa Claus to bring to them. There are now more than 2,000 retail stores in the United States.
The first Sears store opened in 1925 as part of a larger building, later that same year, a standalone version was opened in Indiana. There are several stores under the Sears brand now including:
The Sears Department Stores
The Sears Hardware Store
The Sears Grand Store
Sears Appliance and Hardware
Sears Hometown Stores
Sears Parts and Retail Center
Other stores include Lands End. That store was started in 1963 in Chicago and is now based in Wisconsin. It was bought by Sears for just over $2 million in 2002. There are only a handful of Lands End retail stores that stand alone with some Sears stores, including the outlets, selling the products within their walls. The majority of the sales for Lands End are either done by online or mail order through the catalogs. Lands End sells clothing for the entire family, luggage and various types of home furnishings.
Buying at the Sears Outlet Stores
There are several things that are available at the Sears Outlet stores including new items, out of the carton or display models that have never been out of the store, discontinued items, and scratched and dented goods. Some Sears Outlet stores also carry used or returned items. Most of the items that are sold in the Sears Outlet stores are marked at prices that are 20 to 60 percent off. There are also online coupons that can be printed for use at the outlet stores that can also bring down the price dramatically.
Top Categories at the Sears Outlet Stores
There are several categories that are top sellers, especially at the outlets. These include:
Washers and dryers
Lawn and garden
The Top Sellers at the Sears Outlet Stores
There are several specific items that are top sellers in most Sears Outlet stores. These items are subject to change and may vary depending on location.
The Samsung 52 inch class LCD, full HD Television
Kenmore 24 inch built in dishwasher with Sani rinse in stainless steel
The EWP Global Seven Drawer roll cabinet
The Whirlpool Duet Premium 4.3 cu. Foot front load washer. (In various colors/may vary by store location and availability).
Sears Outlet Locations
There are several locations in the US including both stand alone outlet stores and those that are located in malls that feature other outlet stores as well as traditional department stores. For instance:
The Discover Mills Outlet Mall, Lawrenceville, Georgia. This mall has more than 180 stores, a mall walkers club as well as a kid’s club. Lunar golf, a skating rink and an 18 screen AMC movie theater is also available. Other stores in the mall include Forever 21, Liz Claiborne Outlet, the Disney Store Outlet and the Carters Outlet
Other Locations for the Sears Outlet Stores
- There is one Sears outlet store in each of the following states: Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin
- Two Sears Outlet stores: Delaware, Massachusetts and Virginia
- Three Sears Outlets: Georgia, Maryland and Missouri
- Four Sears Outlets: Illinois, Pennsylvania and Texas
- Five Sears Outlets: Florida
- There are eight Sears outlet stores in the state of California.
Sears and Celebrity Endorsements
Several celebrities from sports and entertainment have endorsed Sears stores or specific products exclusively offered there. These include:
Golf legend Arnold Palmer
Football star Brett Favre
Actor Billy Dee Williams
Actress and model Lauren Hutton
Actress Stephanie Powers
Home improvement star and television host Bob Vila
Home improvement star and television host Ty Pennington
Model and actress Cheryl Tiegs designed and modeled a line of clothing for Sears from 1981 to 1989. Those clothes were sold for women, juniors and girls and are often sold by vintage clothes dealers. Currently, a line of clothing is being endorsed by the Kardashians. It is called the Kardashian Kollection.
News and Information for the Sears Outlet Stores
In the United States, Sears and its holdings, including Kmart are faltering in certain markets. More than 100 of the stores were slated to be closed during the year 2012 with some closings coming at the immediate time of the announcement and others to spread throughout the year. At the same time as those closures, several new Sears stores were due to open in Canada expanding the company into that nation.