Sears, Roebuck and Company Sears, Roebuck, and Company was founded in the 1880s by Richard W. Sears and Alvah C. Roebuck. The company was incorporated in 1893 in Chicago, Illinois. The company started by selling watches and jewelry but quickly expanded to included toys, garments, and farm equipment. The first store was opened in Chicago in 1925 and by 1933 there were 400 stores nationwide. In the 1970s the company name was shortened to Sears and in 2005 it merged with the K-Mart Corporation.