It might be hard to believe considering its vast array of products, but Sears, Roebuck and Co. began with one accessory: watches. In 1886, Richard W. Sears bought a box of unwanted watches from a jeweler, thinking he could turn a profit by selling them. He was correct and committed to the watch business by hiring Alvah C. Roebuck, an experienced watchmaker.
As time went on, though, their business expanded its umbrella far beyond what people wore on their wrists. Sears became known as the place to shop for almost any appliance, from sewing machines to those magical boxes that create water from nothing and clean your clothes.
Today, the stores stock clothing, accessories, electronics, kitchen equipment, tools for outdoor living, and home decor. This variety is sustained by Sears's proprietary brands—Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard, to name a few—and other national names that populate the shelves.
Kramer's Sew & Vac specializes in sewing machines and vacuum cleaners, and it's been vending these wares since 1947. Bring in a faulty machine for a quick fix, or peruse a selection of new sewing machines from Bernina and vacuums from Miele. Kramer's also meets the needs of the sewing community with regular classes, which teach quilting and embroidery skills via traditional methods and on the computer.
Waterhouse bath & kitchen studio began as a plumbing-fixture showroom in 1976 and has since expanded its collection to feature unique pieces including glass vessels, European designs, and stainless-steel furnishings from brands including Barclay and Victoria + Albert. Waterhouse’s products reflect a commitment to sustainability with hands-free faucets and lite toilets with 1-gallon flush options that can save up to 3,200 gallons of water per year. The showroom aims to create an immersive experience for customers by setting up model kitchens to demonstrate how a selection of showerheads or faucets will work in homes and doghouses.