Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2023

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Deborah Hall

Second Advisor

Robert Magee

Third Advisor

Christopher Newman

Relational Format



Once America’s largest mass merchandiser, Sears is a name that remains recognizable for many people. Throughout our country’s history, the U.S. retail industry has often shifted alongside its country’s major historical events. However, one major corporation who once mirrored the ebbs and flows of the United States economy slowly faded out of the minds of the American consumer. This thesis seeks to answer if Sears’ fall from grace was a direct reflection of American consumer trends.

Secondary data was gathered through books accessed from the university library, newspaper articles, scholarly journals, and online news sources, as well as the company’s online database. Primary data was gathered via an online sample survey created using Qualtrics to gain insight regarding the potential effects of the Sears’ catalog on past consumers’ perceptions of the brand. Survey results conclude that the discontinuation of the Sears catalog directly affected the customer’s view of the brand. Former customers predominantly chose Amazon.com as their primary replacement to Sears due to convenience and availability of products. Additionally, the Christmas Wish Book catalog played a large role in Sears’ customers’ loyalty to the brand and remains nostalgic in the minds of consumers.

Accessibility Status

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Included in

Communication Commons



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