As bankrupt Sears Holdings inches toward liquidation, Amazon on Monday became the most valuable public company in the world, surpassing Microsoft.
Many people consider Sears to have been the Amazon of its day. It was the so-called everything store. Shoppers could order items through Sears' print catalogs and later pick them up in stores, a service that many retailers are just now starting to incorporate with their websites today. In many ways, Sears set the bar for retailers such as Walmart and Target to follow. And it's those companies, including Amazon, that ultimately sped Sears' demise.
Sears shares hit an all-time high of $195.18 in April 2007, when Amazon's stock was hovering around just $60. Over the years, Sears' market cap has tumbled from roughly $30 billion to under $100 million, as the company has struggled with sales declines and failed to invest in its stores. Meantime, Amazon's growth has accelerated as its online business has flourished.