Sears, Roebuck and Co. (S) has adopted a new logo, only the fourth in its 118-year history, to give it what it describes as a "fresher, friendlier" look.

The company says it began switching to the revised logo this week in newspaper advertisements and by erecting new signs at a store in Vernon Hills, Ill., 15 miles east of its headquarters.

The logo is brighter blue than its predecessor, with "Sears" no longer in all capital letters. A red arc underlines the word.

"We think the logo takes on a fresher and friendlier appearance," company spokesman Chris Brathwaite said. "And we believe this look evokes a more modern, stylish feel."

No radical change was made to the previous logo because customer research found that it was consistently perceived as trustworthy and reliable, according to Brathwaite.

Each of the previous two logos was used for about two decades.