Please help me write an essay on "The Glory Years” of SEARS from 1920s to the 1960s, using direct quotes from leaders of Sears, and other knowledgeable industry insiders. 

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The Sears, Roebuck and Co.’s innovative approach to retail paved the way for its ascent to the pinnacle of corporate success. Using mail order allowed Sears to percolate from its Chicago headquarters into every corner of the United States and expand overseas. Although co-founder Alvah Roebuck left the company in 1895, he returned in 1933 and become involved in creating the corporate history. The other co-founder, Richard W. Sears, died in 1914 so would not be a source for the period you are considering. A key figure for the period beginning in 1924 is Julius Rosenwald, who became the company’s Chairman in that year. He had served as President following Sears’s retirement in 1908; he also became a well-known philanthropist. The next phase of Sears history was governed by General Robert E. Wood, President from 1928 to 1939 and Chairman from 1939 to 1954. Wood was the driving force behind the establishment of retail stores.

By the 1920s, Sears had become the “world’s largest store.” Its products included in-house brands, such as Craftsman Tools and Kenmore appliances, and even houses called “Modern Homes.” By 1929, it had over 300 retail stores. Sears established its own radio station using several different call letters; after the station was sold in 1928, it retained the letters it still has today: WLS, which originally stood for “world’s largest store.” In 1931, Sears added Allstate Insurance to its offerings. In the 1940s, retail store overseas expansion began in Havana, Cuba; the first Mexican store opened in 1947. In 1953, it began Canadian operations. While World War Two affected production of numerous items, the postwar boom and demand for such items as televisions cemented its dominance in the 1950s.

The corporation has made public an extensive online archive (http://www.searsarchives.com/), which can provide ample amounts of the kinds of primary sources that your assignment requires. This site includes a list of relevant books about the company’s history and key figures and their influence. For the period you are addressing, James Worthy’s Shaping an American Institution (1984) focuses on Robert Wood and might be particularly useful.

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