Moving Back to Main Street

Troubled Sears puts its tower on sale and cuts prices down to size

Ever since it practically invented the idea more than a century ago, Sears has seen a big sale as a sure cure for slow business. Even by the standards of the largest U.S. retailer, last week's offering in Chicago was its most stupendous yet. Chairman Edward Brennan served as the star pitchman. "It's a trophy," hawked Brennan, 54, a cherubic former Sears salesman. "It's an excellent facility, very well maintained; nothing of its size and value has ever been sold before. After all, it is the tallest building in the world."

The retailing giant (1987 revenues: $48.4 billion) was putting its...

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