As a Chicago native, retail nerd, and former customer, Sears bankruptcy comes as sad news. The Chicago Tribune has a great story of a brand that did not have to die. In 2006, Sears profit peaked at $1.5 billion with a 3.6% profit margin according to MacroTrends. That same year, Amazon just cleared $190,000,000 with a 1.63% profit margin. Sears, achieved huge success and then began to coast as faster, hungrier competitors like Amazon, Walmart, and Target hit the gas.
Here is an info graphic comparing Sears, that began as a one-product retailer of watches, with Amazon, that got its start selling books.