For those old enough to remember the Sears Christmas catalog, the holiday season did not start until you leafed through the giant booklet featuring pages and pages of shiny new clothes and toys.
The department store first launched the Sears Wish Book, a booklet showcasing its merchandise as gift ideas, in 1933, and then canceled it in 2011 amid an effort to focus more on online sales.
This week, Sears announced that customers were pining for the print catalog — and decided to bring it back for the holiday season this year.
“Our members told us they missed the Wish Book, so we had to bring it back, but in a special way that lets you share more joy wherever you are,” Kelly Cook, chief marketing officer for Sears and Kmart, said in a statement.
While the original catalogs of more than 400 pages were full of items like Miss Pigtails dolls, Mickey Mouse watches and even live canaries, the new version will be 120 pages long and feature this year’s most popular toys and modern clothes. As part of Sears’ attempt to gauge the catalog’s popularity, it will be printing a limited number for its loyalty members.
Although the revival of the Wish Book tugs on many a nostalgic heartstring, the move is also a risky one — Sears has been struggling with declining sales and closing physical stores for several years.
Sears is also launching an online version of the booklet at sears.com/wishbook.