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Sears on State Street sells all at astonishing prices

As you walk past Sears, the windows are plastered with closing sale signs
As you walk past Sears, the windows are plastered with closing sale signs
Christine Stumpf

We interrupt our series of articles on Women Power to bring you a flash news report: Sears on State Street in downtown Chicago is closing! In fact, it will only be in business for approximately one more week: April 6 will be its last day, and that’s this coming Sunday.

Sears on State
Christine Stumpf

Many folks are lamenting the closing of Sears on State Street, just as we mourned the closing of State Street’s Carson Pirie Scott store a few years ago and Marshall Field's pulling out. These stores had become the staples of State Street: huge robust department stores in which you could accomplish one-stop shopping.

Sears on State has been there a long time, since 2001. Not your average downtown department store, Sears also sells appliances and tools and things that no other store in the Loop sells. There was even an eye doctor, hair salon and dental office (still open).

We will mourn the loss of Sears on State. But we can also make the best of it by stopping by to take advantage of incredible deals. How does a classy pair of lady’s work slacks for $5 grab you, marked down from its original price of $40+. That’s even lower than most second hand stores, for brand new clothes. Even most of their men’s slacks are now priced just around $10.

All over the store are bright yellow signs tooting spectacular savings -- and it’s for real. Helpful are the signs on most clothes rack that do the math for you: translating what 70% off looks like — but then when you get to the cashier, you find your goods actually cost about half that. These are rock bottom prices. Stock up on what you need: shoes, socks, underwear, lounge-wear, jeans, tops, work clothes – your entire wardrobe -- kids clothes too. And there are still home goods and tools for sale. If you want to stock up, grab a shopping cart.

Hurry, though, because they are shrinking. Whereas Sears used to fill four grand floors, their goods are rapidly diminishing. Jump on a bus or the el and get there; it’s centrally located on State and Madison in the heart of Chicago. Even if you live in the outskirts of the city or the suburbs, you'll won't see prices like these again; this sale is worth the commute.

If you go after work, however, be prepared for a bit of a feeding frenzy. Scope out the fitting rooms. You could stand in line behind five people each trying on twenty items, or you could use a unisex fitting room without lines. They close at 7:00 p.m. Get in the checkout line as soon as you can -- before 6:30 is you can -- in any case, burgeoning lines might test your patience. But long lines or not, once you do a double-take at your receipt and note how little you paid for all that you got, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear!

One last thing: if you have a retail business or are planning to open one, Sears is also selling their display units; they're on the third floor.