Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sears - Wish Book Wonderland

Getting super close to Christmas, so let’s take a very quick look at Sears, a veritable Warehouse of Christmas Dreams for generations of Americans. This particular store was located at the Logan Square shopping center in Norristown, Pennsylvania, not far from Philly. It was brand new and all decked out for Christmas at the time this photo was taken in 1966. The building still stands (with the three flagpoles, yet!) in recent photos, but is no longer a Sears.

Speaking of the Wish Book, here’s a great website that features vintage department store Christmas catalogs – Sears, Penneys, Wards and more – that a group of folks have painstakingly scanned in full. It’s a real treat!


  1. Glad you like it, Didi! Sears built some incredible-looking stores in those days.

  2. This photo confirmed what had been a dim memory for me. When I was little, I remember Sears and Penney's using large lighted wall decorations outside their stores. They were always really cool, and I missed them when the practice stopped near me back around 1984.

    Thanks for the memory and Merry Christmas.

  3. Steven - I miss them, too. Seems like the Chicago area stores discontinued them around the same time.

    Merry Christmas to you as well-

  4. I remember when the Sears and JCPenney wishbook arrivals meant it was time to think about Christmas and it wasn't politically incorrect and labor consuming to go all out with the decorations at retail. And every department store and discount store had a Santa, either that or he really got around in those days.

  5. Anonymous -

    You're right on, in my opinion. Often I think that PC reasons are given when in fact the true motivation is cost savings. I think that this year, however, may have seen a slight tilt back towards more acknowledgment of Christmas on the part of retailers.

    And Santa sure did seem to get around back then!


  6. This store was replaced with the King of Prussia Plaza location (one town over) in the early '80s.

  7. Steven - Thanks for that piece of info. Everything I've seen about the King of Prussia Mall would make me rank it in the top echelon, for sure.

  8. I am desperately searching for pictures (espescially interior shots) of the old Abington, PA Sears store. If anyone can help, I will be your slave for life! Any info to:

  9. Just stumbled upon your awesome blog and wanted to let you know that I drove past this Sears about 4 days ago. Having worked in Norristown for about 3 years, but not having been back through the town proper for about 6 I was shocked to see how much further this property has declined!

    It was supposed to be part of a movie studio complex that was the latest panacea for Norristown. The complex is springing up in an adjacent parking lot, but I can only guess that this building will be torn down for parking as soon as the new building is done. And as far as I can tell it no longer will house movie production facilities, just another office building in an area saturated with them (most with vacancy signs!).

    For years the Montgomery County Probation and Parole offices worked out of the old building but I believe they've moved. There are some very small retailers that operate out of what appear to be the edges of the building now, but it looked like at least 1/2 of those spots were vacant this past weekend.

    Love this blog and thanks for encroaching on my workday!

  10. i remember this place when it was Sears and also called "Ports of the world". The Montgomery County Probation and Parole wasn't located there but to the adjacent buildings to the right. Used to be a auto parts store at one point. Going to Via Venetos (across the street) today will drive through and take a look around

  11. My mother use to shop at this very Sears. We still have a lot of the bedding, sheets and pillow cases she bought there.

    During the Christmas Eve Blizzard of 1966 my grandparents were down from Upstate New York. My father, grandfather and I got up early to take my grandfather's car over to the Sears Automotive Department to get snow tires put on. They served coffee back then. Everybody was in a great mood. We go in and out just as the first of over 12-inches of snow began to fall.

    Went back to visit in 2006. So very depressing.