Sears, Roebuck & Company is an American multinational department store chain headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, in Greater Chicago. The company was founded by Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck in 1893 as a mail order catalog. Julius Rosenwald took control in 1895 and expanded its sales and profits greatly. In 1925, it began opening local department stores. The business peaked in the 1950s and 1960s, then began a long, slow contraction. In 2005, it was bought out by Kmart, which renamed itself Sears Holdings.
In 1973, it opened a new headquarters in the Sears Tower, a 108-story, 1,451-foot (442 m) skyscraper that was the tallest building in the world until 1998.
Until October 1989, Sears was America's largest retailer, when it was surpassed by Walmart in domestic revenue. Target, Best Buy, and Home Depot have also surpassed Sears since.
As of 2012, it is the fourth-largest U.S. department store company by retail sales and is the 12th-largest retailer in the United States, leading its competitor Macy's in 2013 in terms of revenue.