October 17, 2018

Spotlight: Sears - Las Vegas, NV

3450 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89169
Today we are looking at the Sears located at The Boulevard also known as the Boulevard Mall in sunny Las Vegas, NV. It opened on November 17, 1965 before the construction of the mall was completed. The mall itself wasn't completed and opened until March 1968. The store is a bit unique as it is a two level store but one level is at ground level and the other is at basement level. This is a bit odd as the mall itself is one level and the other two level anchor stores don't have a basement level. The stores auto center is located in a separate building in the stores parking lot. The signage on the exterior of the store was updated within the past couple of years to the current Sears logo. This store has a lot of older design features that a department store built in the last 20-30 years wouldn't have. You'll see some of that in the 100+ pictures we are featuring here.

Historical photo of when the store was built in 1965.
Taken in 2015, compared to the photo above, you can see the original architectural features of the building are still intact. Courtesy of ModTraveler.net

Sears sold this location to a group of investors in October of 2017, as Sears owned its building and large parking lot since the store was built. Now the group of investors are leasing the building back to Sears. The investors are related to the company that currently own the mall Sears is in, which makes things easier for the continued redevelopment of the mall that is currently going on. One of the first things the new owners of the Sears property are doing is trying to develop some of the massive Sears parking lot into pad sites for other businesses like Starbucks, fast food restaurants, among other things.

Areas of the store where merchandise is spread out to try to make it look less empty.

Unfortunately this store seems to be barely hanging on to its life. When we visited this location, the store was dead and almost completely devoid of customers in the middle of the day. There were many associates in the store moving departments around trying to make this large store look full with less inventory. It was kind of reminiscent of the old saying rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic hoping for a different result to the sinking ship. There were large empty areas in the store, the electronics department no longer has electronics, and all of the Sears service areas were gone. There was a maze of empty and closed Sears services on the basement level of the store leading to the restrooms. It was quite eerie having to walk through all of these closed, empty areas just to get to the restrooms. There are closed areas that look to be for optical, portrait studio, watch service, miracle ear, salon, and a couple other area that were for something else. This Sears store is actually the last remaining traditional anchor store in the mall. All of the others have closed within the past 10 years and were replaced by non-traditional stores and other uses.

Entrance to the empty services area.

This mall is located in a area that has a higher rate of crime and some would consider the area a bit shady. Changing demographics helped play a part in the mall losing all of it's anchors except the Sears store. The Sears itself has a security guard that constantly walks around the store. The store seems to be taking more measures to cut down on theft as they were in the process of changing the shoe department from self service with all of the boxes on the sales floor to just having displays shoes out and an associate has to retrieve the size you want from a stock room.

Shoe department is being transitioned away from self service to cut down on theft.
When the store opened in 1965, it was the largest Sears store in the state of Nevada at over 209,000 square feet and over 50 different departments. The store featured a 88,000 square foot main level selling space with outdoor garden center along with a separate 24 car capacity automotive service center with gasoline pumps and an 2,500 space parking lot. The basement level of the store featured the customer convenience center, credit sales department, customer service office, cashier, general offices, employee cafeteria, catalog telephone shopping service, and storage, receiving and shipping departments. The customer convenience center on the basement level offered the following services- cash checks, pay utility bills, buy money orders, travelers checks, gift certificates, postal services, and hunting and fishing licenses. On the main selling level there was a seasonal sales shop, catalog sales department, tailor shop, hobby shop, watch/jewelry repair, and Sears coffee house. The store also included a free kitchen planning service and a decorator studio. Some of the departments available in store include- fur salon, wig salon, home furnishings, floor coverings, domestics, women's wear, accessories, cosmetics, millinery, lingerie and foundation, infants and children's wear, toys, shoes for the family, maternity shop, juvenile furniture department, office equipment, stationary, notions, jewelry, cameras, candy, bath shop, patio shop, shutters, wallpaper department, pet shop, and tobacco shop. The store had a team of 30 technicians would could fix and repair any appliances from tv's to tractors. The store featured 12 separate store entrances on the main level, lots of windows, and beautiful landscaping including colorful shade trees, palms, shrubs, and ground covering.

Newspaper advertisement for the impending opening of the store.
A lot of things of course have changed since the store was opened. The exterior facades have been updates, some of the entrances and display windows have been sealed off, and all of the nice landscaping is pretty well gone. Interior wise, the basement level is opened up to be mostly all sales floor space now. On one end of the store there is a set of stairs leading to the basement level and on the other end of the store is a set of escalators leading down to it. All of the service area have closed up and only the basic Sears merchandise departments are left.

Set of stairs leading down to the basement level of the store.
This older Sears store is full of history and older design features. Enjoy all of the pictures of the store below, they were taken in September 2018. Be sure to leave your comments at the bottom of the page and check back for our next post soon!


Former key making kiosk.


Merchandise pickup area.


Auto Center in the stores parking lot.

Sealed off display windows with sealed off entrance to the right.

More sealed off windows to the left.


Sealed off entrance.



















Escalators leading to the basement level.












Shoes no longer self service


Vintage telephones.








Stairs to basement level.




Former electronics department.

Former electronics department.





Old services area

Closed off services area.

Closed off services area.

Closed off services area.

Closed off services area.

Closed off services area.

Closed off services area.

Closed off services area.

Closed off services area.

Closed off services area.

Closed off services area.

Closed off services area.

Closed off services area.

Closed off services area.

Closed off services area.


Closed off services area.

Closed off services area.





This Sears actually carried draperies.





Closed off stairs.



Closed off area.





2 comments:

  1. I live in Las Vegas and once in a while I visit this store. It’s sad how it opened up with so many features but now just look at it. Everything is pretty much gone.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Too bad there's no older pictures to compare to.

    ReplyDelete