Final Chicago Sears store starts liquidation sales

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An era is over. Final liquidation sales started Friday at the last Sears store in Chicago. But as the crowds pick over what's left, ABC7's Mark Rivera shows you the huge footprint that Sears has left on the city.

Sears, Roebuck and Company veritably ran the city in its heyday.

Friday, a man walked around the Six Corners location with a sandwich board advertising huge (and final) sales.

It's hard not to feel a pang of sadness as you take a look at the scene. The final Sears store in the city of Chicago closing its doors, it's the end of an institution. The Six Corners Sears opened in 1938 and used to anchor the commercial district there. Now people who've spent their entire lives in this community are saying a final goodbye.

"It's sad. This is the last one. They should stay," said long-time Sears customer Veronica Molina. "We have nothing in the neighborhood. This is the best place to come. Anything we need we come here."

"I just hate to see it go," Gilbert Barrientos said. "It's been here since I was a little kid."

Shoppers scurry in and out to catch the final sales, but if you look at the big picture, Sears, "has left a huge footprint on the city," said Chicago History Museum Chief Historian Russell Lewis.

From the humble beginnings of ABC 7 as WLS Radio - Sears' "World's Largest Store" broadcasts - to a new paradigm of having your life delivered.

The Sears motto, "from cradle to grave." You could buy a doll for your child, a car, or even a full blown house, all from the same catalog.

People used to call the catalog "the dream book," Lewis said. "Because you could dream about what your life could be if you could buy all of this stuff. Amazon is doing exactly the same thing."

A new retail reality potentially come full circle, if Sears' successor, Amazon, comes to the city.

"That'd be very cool...sort of poetic justice," Lewis said.

The final Sears store in Chicago is closing its doors in mid-July.
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