Sears Mail Order Operations - Los Angeles


This photo was taken in 1936 on the backside of the Sears retail store in Boyle Heights. The location is about three to four miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.


This was a time when the railroads provided a great amount of support to Sears' mail order operations.


Photo Description: "Exterior view of the Sears, Roebuck & Company Mail Order Building, with railroad tracks leading to the building., The Sears, Roebuck & Company Mail Order Building is located in the Boyle Heights neighborhood at Soto St. and Olympic Blvd. (formerly 9th St.; 2650 Olympic Blvd.)., [Stamped:] JAN 14 1936."


Many photos taken in the Santa Fe yards along the Los Angeles River show this same Sears building in the background.


This is a recent aerial view of the Sears complex:


Another "catalogue sales" section was added to the backside building sometime in the early 1960s, obliterating the area where tracks serviced the complex. However, you can still trace the spur where it paralleled Soto Street before turning left on to the Sears property.


Images from Historical from the years 1964, 1972 and 1980 appear to show the spur was diverted to the Soto Street side of the building. What appears to be boxcars on this new spur are seen in the 1964 and 1972 aerial photos.


To my knowledge, appliances were not delivered to this location. Appliances were delivered by boxcars to the Sears warehouse at 5525 South Soto Street in Vernon, aka 2798 Sears Street. This location was three to four miles south of the store/catalogue facility.


Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA