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A look back at the Sears and Roebuck empire

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Sears and Roebuck building
The historic 1928 Sears and Roebuck building in Minneapolis is now the Midtown Exchange building. It houses the headquarters of Allina Hospitals and Clinics as well apartments, condominiums and the Midtown Global Market.
MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel

Richard W. Sears of Sears and Roebuck department store fame was born on Dec. 7, 1863 in Stewartville Minnesota. Tuesday would have been the 147th birthday of the retailing pioneer.

Sears' start in retailing was a bit odd. It began at a rail station in Redwood Falls and wound up at the old Sears Store on Lake Street in Minneapolis: a building that is now known as the Midtown Global Market.

Sears stores also spread across the nation and Sears became a retailing giant.

Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer and historian Annette Atkins met up at the Midtown Global Market to talk about Mr. Sears and his retailing empire and how the Minneapolis Sears store has morphed into a rich tapestry of businesses.