Officially known as T. EATON COMPANY, LIMITED, the mercantile institution began business, in Toronto, in 1869. By the early 20th century, the chain had expanded throughout Canada and was the nation's dominant retailer. Following the adoption of official bilingualism (English and French) in 1969, the nameplate was altered to read simply EATON in Quebec. Mismanaged into virtual oblivion in the 1970s and '80s, EATON'S filed for bankruptcy in 1997. In 1999, the failing enterprise was acquired by SEARS CANADA, who attempted a turnaround. This proved unsuccessful and the EATON'S / EATON chain was liquidated in early 2002.