A few months ago, this Sears Roebuck Company building in Hackensack, NJ caught my eye. It looked like it would have done way back when. I was curious to know what year it was built and how it had missed being demolished for another more modern structure.
I found the following reference to the building in the New York Times of November 17, 1931. “Sears, Roebuck & Co. buy Hackensack Site: Department Store to Cost About $500,000 Planned for Plot in Main Street.”
The Sears Roebuck Company was founded in Chicago in 1886 by Richard W. Sears and Alvah C. Roebuck. Sears, a railroad agent, received an impressive box of watches and began selling them and other jewelry by mail order. Roebuck was a watch repairman who Sears hired as his business grew. Eventually, they founded Sears, Roebuck & Co.
The first catalog was produced in 1888. Eventually, the catalog carried sewing machines, bicycles, sporting goods and automobiles. Over the years, the company became the largest retailer in the U.S., a position it held up to the mid-1980s. Though it is no longer the largest retailer, the company has evolved into a major online retailer and a trusted source for tools, appliances, affordable clothing and other goods.