Trimming Frills At the Big Store

Sears unloads sideline operations so it can concentrate on retailing

OUT LOOKING TO BUY A CRAFTSMAN POWER DRILL? While you're at it, why not bring home a mortgage and a couple of shares of AT&T? As unlikely a shopping trip as that might seem, it was the scenario on which Sears, Roebuck & Co. built its 1980s growth strategy to turn the nation's prototype "Big Store" into one of the largest retail companies on earth. A decade later, the retailer's executives at the landmark Sears Tower corporate headquarters in downtown Chicago have admitted defeat. In one of the most painful setbacks in its 106- year history, Sears announced that it would...

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