SEARS IS BACK IN CHICAGO’S DOWNTOWN

CHICAGO — In a return to downtown, Sears, Roebuck & Co. will open a five-level, 250,000-square-foot store at the corner of State and Madison Streets on May 23, becoming the only true full-line department store retailer in Chicago’s Loop district.
The company previously announced intentions to open downtown, but on Thursday revealed details and the opening date.
“Sears is committed to serving downtown-area businesses and residents with a tailored assortment of merchandise and services,” said Dave Johnson, Sears store general manager, in a statement. “We intend to be actively involved in enriching the community with events and cultural programs. Sears on State is an ideal location for our seventh urban Sears store in Chicago.”
Sears’s merchandise offering is comprehensive, including apparel, home fashions, cosmetics, appliances, consumer electronics, hardware and lawn and garden products. Sears on State also will feature eight special businesses, including Cole Vision Optical, H&R Block, Java Java Coffee Shop, Miracle Ear, Sears Portrait Studio, an Afrocentric gift shop called Unity Square, a hair salon and a dental practice.
Sears retained the architectural firm of Daniel P. Coffey & Associates Ltd., redeveloper of many Chicago landmarks, to design the facade of the State Street store. Built in the early 1900s by Holabird & Roche, the structure at the corner of State and Madison Streets originally housed The Boston Department Store.
In September 1999, Sears unveiled a $30 million program to renovate its six Chicago stores by 2003, representing an overall $80 million commitment to the city by the retailer over a 10-year period.
“Not only will downtown shoppers have a great new resource, but shoppers throughout the city will have access to vastly improved Sears stores in their neighborhood,” said Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Sears used to be headquartered in the Sears Tower, but moved its base of operations to the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates.