Nov 12, 2021 - Business

The last Sears in Illinois leaves Woodfield this weekend

A photo of a Sears sign.

Customers shop at a Sears store in the Woodfield Mall. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The last Sears department store in Illinois is closing on Sunday.

Why it matters: Once the largest retailer in the United States, Sears was founded in Chicago. The first store opened in Chicago in 1925 and the store at Woodfield Mall served as the anchor for the largest mall in the state.

Backstory: Woodfield Mall opened in 1971 and was named after the chairman of Sears at the time, Robert E. Wood. The Woodfield location was the biggest Sears in the U.S.

What's next: There are no immediate plans to repurpose the multi-story anchor store. So of course, Justin had some quick ideas.

  • Vaccination Station: We will need booster shots. And more vaccines. So why not just turn the department store perfume counter into vaccine counters? You'll be protected from COVID-19 and smell good too.
  • Haunted House: The frights are less jump-scares and zombies and more about sticker shock terror. They want how much for a pair of jeans?
  • Escape Room: You have an hour to get out of the old Sears and the only tools at your disposal are leftover kitchen appliances.
  • Bigger Starbucks: it worked downtown.

For many of us, Sears was the go-to store of our youth.

  • Monica remembers going to Sears for Kenmore appliances and back to school clothing shopping because she was stylish like that.
  • Justin remembers the store in Ravenswood. They not only had clothes and appliances, but they sold tires!

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Chicago.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Chicago stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Chicago.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more