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Whether you’re a fan of Sears or just constantly wondering if it’s gone under or want to know if there’s a Sears in the UK or London, I’m here to talk all things Sears and give you the information you’re looking for.
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I have fond memories of following my dad around Sears in the local mall as he shopped for tools.
Even then, 15 or 20 years ago, it was never packed with people.
So, here we go, the answer to the question of…
“Is there a Sears in the UK or England or London?”
There is no Sears in the UK or London, but there are alternatives to Sears in the UK that you could go to if you’re looking for a department store.
Before I dig too deep into Sears in the UK, I wanted to let you know about some articles I’ve compiled to help people either visiting or moving to the UK.
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Sign up to learn 15 secrets that people always leave out when talking about visiting London – they’ll change your trip for the better!
Firstly, no matter your reason for being here, you need the best book on living in the UK for Americans ever written – the book is called “Girl Gone London: An American’s Guide to Surviving Life in the UK” and you should click here and check it out.
I also may have written it, so I’m biased.
But truly, if you’re coming to the UK as an expat, a study abroad student, or even a visitor, my guide to life in the UK contains both personal anecdotes and maybe too-honest experiences, as well as resources and advice on topics ranging from homesickness in the UK (or how not to rage book a flight to America like I did), driving in the UK, being a student in the UK, and more practical advice about bank accounts, buying houses, and more.
It’s truly a one stop shop for all of the weirdness and wonderfulness (is that a word?) that comes along with life in the UK, and also there is plenty of opportunity to laugh at me as I share all of my expat fails so there’s that.
In addition, I’ve got some free articles on everything from culture shock to the treacherous story of how I learned to drive in the UK so you can laugh at me and then decide for yourself if you want to embark on that particular journey.
I’ve also got information on understanding the differences in money in the UK so you don’t look so ridiculous at the pub trying to figure out the difference between 5p and a 1 pound coin.
- Culture Shock: The Things We Don’t Talk About
- An American Girl’s Guide to Surviving the London Underground
- Understanding UK Money: Pence, Not Cents!
- Driving in England as an American: An Apology to UK Drivers
Right, now that you’re highly educated on being a visitor to the UK, let’s move on and talking about Sears.
History of Sears
Sears began in 1893 and was founded by Richard Sears and Alvah Roebuck (which is also why it is actually Sears, Roebuck and Company).
It was originally just a catalog company, where you went through and ordered things via mail from the catalog.
It wasn’t until 1925 that actually in-person stores were created.
If you’ve ever heard of the Sears Tower in Chicago, you should know that this was, in fact, in relation to Sears the company, as this was the original headquarters.
Nowadays, the headquarters are in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Sears continued to grow and prosper until around 1972.
In the 1990s, Sears started to decline both in consumer trust and general prosperity, as other stores started competing with it and it couldn’t always keep it.
Sears is very much a case of a company that took a while to change with the times, and by the time it got around to changing, the world has passed it by.
In 2005, Sears was bought by Kmart (oh, yeah, there’s also no Kmart in the UK) in an effort to turn it around, and in 2019, it was confirmed that Sear’s bankruptcy filing had gone through and it would be able to stay open with about 400 stores across the US.
Despite the tumultuous history, Sears is very much a well-known American brand.
There isn’t a Sears in the UK, however, but I’ve got some alternatives for you!
Equivalent to Sears
While there aren’t any Sears in the UK, there are alternatives to Sears in the UK that you can go to if you want to go to a department store that sells multiple types of items.
Debenham’s is a fairly upscale department store that you can find across the UK, and inside is everything from makeup to house decor to clothing to baby items.
While they have their own problems financially, perhaps that makes them the closest equivalent to Sears that there is in the UK!
One of the most popular Debenham’s is the one on Oxford Street in London.
More of a “regular” person’s department store rather than a really classy one, Matalan is also across the UK and is a closer alternative to Sears in terms of the prices of items that are available.
From luggage to shirts to house decor, Matalan is a one stop shop for tons of different things that you might need.
Read more in my full guide comparing UK and US stores and restaurants.
Coming to London Soon?
Hey! Since you’re here I’m assuming you’re intent on visiting this amazing city soon!
A great way to really immerse yourself in UK culture is see the sights with the help of a guided tour. I’ve picked out a few highly recommended ones below!
Tower of London Tour with Crown Jewels: One of the best things about having a Royal family is imagining you’ll be a part of it one day… and what better way than to imagine yourself in their jewels!
Or at least stare dumbfoundedly. Either way, this tour is a sure fire way to get dazzled by London.
Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise: London is built around the River Thames, and one could even say it’s the most important part of the whole city!
As such there’s no better, or relaxing for that matter, way to see the sights than from the view of the river itself! This tour takes you around the city and shows why all Londoners are really still rugged sea voyagers at heart, if maybe just a little more posh now.
Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds: Londoners would have you fooled, but there’s more to this beautiful nation than just what remains within the confines of London… shocker I know!!
And if picturesque beauty is what you’re looking for I really recommend checking out the quaint and historical towns that scatter the outskirts. If nothing else, this tour will give you a break from commuting by the tube, and we all need that eventually