Sears Opens State Street Store with Five Weeks of Special Events, Celebrity Appearances

The new downtown Sears on State Street store will host a variety of events during its grand opening ranging from celebrity meet-and-greets and valuable sweepstakes to tempting promotional offers and product demonstrations, beginning Wednesday, May 23, through Sunday, June 10.

On May 23, the five-level, 250,000-square-foot store will officially open following a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:30 a.m. at the corner of State and Madison streets. The grand opening activities begin at 11 a.m. with entertainment and special appearances by Chicago's own Buddy Guy and his band, home improvement guru Bob Vila, and boxer turned grill master, George Foreman. Sears also will distribute $10 Sears Gift Cards and Fannie May candy bars to the first 2,000 customers.

The festivities continue for more than a month with the following special appearances and activities:

  Wednesday, May 23
  -- America's favorite craftsman Bob Vila will sign autographs from noon to
     1:30 p.m. in Tool Territory.

  -- Former heavyweight champion George Foreman will sign autographs from
     noon to 1 p.m. in housewares.

  -- Chef Allen Sternweiler from Harvest on Huron will perform a cooking
     demonstration from 1 to 3 p.m. in home appliances.

  -- Chicago Bulls forward Elton Brand will sign autographs from 1:30 to
     3:30 p.m. in men's apparel.

  -- For the youngsters, Between the Lions™ characters Leona and Lionel
     will stroll throughout the store.

  Wednesday, May 23 (continued)
  -- Throughout the day, Sears Circle of Beauty will provide free makeovers
     to customers from 11:45 a.m. to 6 p.m.  An 8 by 10 portrait,
     compliments of Sears Portrait Studio, will be offered with every
     makeover to immediately capture the new look.

  -- "Go Hawaiian at Sears" - From May 23 through June 9, customers can
     register in men's apparel for a chance to win a trip to Hawaii.  The
     grand prize includes: ground transportation to and from the airport,
     two round-trip coach tickets from any city, three nights' hotel
     accommodations and $500 in cash.

  -- Also on May 23, shoppers can enjoy 10 to 25 percent off regular-priced
     merchandise at all Sears Chicagoland stores in celebration of the grand
     opening on State Street.

  Thursday, May 24
  -- "Sears State Street Getaway" promotion (May 24 through 31): Customers
     will receive an instant-win game piece with a $35 storewide purchase.
     Grand prize is a weekend stay for two in downtown Chicago at the Hotel
     Burnham, two tickets to a performance at the Chicago Theater, a $1,000
     Sears Gift Card for the State Street store and $500 in cash.

  Friday, May 25
  -- Bobby Hull, former Chicago Blackhawks left wing and Hall of Famer, will
     sign autographs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in men's apparel.

  -- Sears on State will showcase its summer apparel at a fashion show
     featuring Miss Illinois Jennifer Powers from noon to 12:30 p.m. in
     women's apparel.

  -- Chef Dean Zanella from 312 Chicago will perform a cooking demonstration
     from 1 to 3 p.m. in home appliances.

  Saturday, May 26
  -- Marisa Ramirez (Gia Campbell) and Coltin Scott (Nikolas Cassadine) from
     "General Hospital" will sign autographs in intimate apparel from 1 to
     3 p.m.

  Sunday, May 27
  -- Faze 4, top "boy band" from Chicago, will sign autographs from 1 to
     3 p.m. on the second level.

  Friday, June 1
  -- "Sears, Cubs and Grub" promotion (June 1 through 9): Customers will
     receive an instant-win game piece with a $50 purchase in home
     electronics.  Grand prize includes: a VIP Cubs pre-game party and four
     tickets to Cubs game on Wednesday, June 27 plus spending money and four
     Ron Santo Topps Baseball Cards.

  -- "Buy the Blues, Get the Blues" promotion (June 1 through June 9): With
     a purchase of men's Levi's, customers will receive an instant-win game
     piece and a House of Blues value pack.  Grand prize includes:  House of
     Blues Foundation Room VIP dinner party for 12, Opera Box seating for
     one of four concerts sponsored by Sears and Levi's at the House of
     Blues and backstage meet-and-greet passes.

  -- Ryne Sandberg, former Chicago Cubs second baseman, will sign autographs
     from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in men's apparel.

  Saturday, June 2
  -- "One Life to Live" stars Kamar de los Reyes (Antonio Vega) and Erika
     Page (Roseanne Delgado) will sign autographs from 1 to 3 p.m. in
     intimate apparel.

  Saturday, June 9
  -- Chef Gale Gand from Tru will perform a cooking demonstration from
     11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in home appliances.

  -- "All My Children" stars Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery) and Esta
     Terblanche (Gillian Andrassy) will sign autographs from 1 to 3 p.m. in
     intimate apparel.

  -- Puppets from the hit PBS children's show Between the Lions will perform
     at 11 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. in the kids' department.

  Sunday, June 10
  -- Chicago Fire soccer player Diego Gutierrez will sign autographs from
     1 to 3 p.m.

From June 12 through 25, Sears on State will continue its grand opening celebration by teaming up with Puppetropolis Chicago, the city's newest summer festival, to feature the United States debut of Urban Dream Capsule, presented by Performing Arts Chicago. This unique interactive window theater will feature four internationally acclaimed Australian artists who will live in four display windows at the new Sears on State Street store 24-hours a day during the two-week period.

Sears on State provides eight special businesses and services: H&R Block, The Hair Studio at Sears, Java Java Coffee Shop, Sears Dental, Sears Hearing Aid Center, Sears Optical, Sears Portrait Studio and Unity Square (an Afrocentric gift shop).

In September 1999, Sears unveiled a $30 million program to renovate its six Chicago stores by the year 2003, representing an overall $80 million commitment to the city by the retailer over a ten-year period.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) is a leading U.S. retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of more than $40 billion. The company serves families throughout the country through approximately 860 department stores, more than 2,100 specialized retail locations, and a variety of online offerings accessible through the company's Web site,

SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Contact: Jennifer Topolewski, 312-751-5540, or Janie Goldberg-Dicks,
312-751-5544, both of Margie Korshak Inc. for Sears, Roebuck and Co.; or
Rebecca Sullivan of Sears, Roebuck and Co., 847-286-3796


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