Sears eyes return with outlet store
by DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor
Nov 08, 2012 | 3462 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THE SEARS NAME could return to Cleveland in the form of a Sears Hometown & Outlet Store as soon as March 2013. If a Cleveland area entrepreneur is identified to operate a store of about 10,000 square feet in size, the retailer would locate in the Bradley Square Mall. Banner photo, DONNA KAYLOR
THE SEARS NAME could return to Cleveland in the form of a Sears Hometown & Outlet Store as soon as March 2013. If a Cleveland area entrepreneur is identified to operate a store of about 10,000 square feet in size, the retailer would locate in the Bradley Square Mall. Banner photo, DONNA KAYLOR
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The Sears name could return to Cleveland in the form of a Sears Hometown & Outlet Store as soon as March 2013.

Sears Hometown Stores regional development manager Jackie Adams said Tuesday that the retailer is looking for an entrepreneur in Cleveland to own and operate a store of about 10,000 square feet in size.

"We're looking for a person who wants to operate a successful business and is customer service oriented," Adams said. "This is an outstanding retail opportunity for a dedicated individual."

The store is planned for Bradley Square Mall. However, a lease is not yet signed.

She said after Sears closed its catalog stores in the early 1990s, they were resurrected in their current form. Since 1993, Sears has helped entrepreneurs open Hometown Stores in all 50 states.

“With the Sears store closing in Bradley Square Mall, we don’t want to lose our customer base in Cleveland, so we are excited to be able to open a Sears Hometown Store in the mall early next year,” Adams said. “The store will only carry the very best sellers, but customers can order anything sold online at Sears.com. The local store would get credit for any transaction that begins or ends at the store.”

She said Sears will own the inventory while the owner and operator owns the business. The store costs $100,000. The cost breakdown includes $60,000 for furniture and fixtures; $25,000 for store buildout and $15,000 in miscellaneous startup costs.

Adams said the store could be finished in January 2013 and ready to open in March if she finds an owner in the next couple of weeks. Sears offers three days of job shadow training in a nearby store and five days in Chicago at the corporate office.

“The local owner is responsible for start-up and ongoing operating expenses associated with the store, including building or leasing a facility; providing in-store fixtures; hiring and training employees; payroll; and insurance,” Adams said. “The Sears Authorized Hometown Store Program is not considered a franchise program because Sears does not require an individual to purchase inventory or pay an annual licensing fee. The stores are supported by the Sears retail network, which includes providing all inventory, advertising, point-of-sale computer systems, delivery support and training.”

According to Adams, Sears Hometown Stores typically have between 6,000 and 10,000 square feet of selling space and offer a wide selection of well-known appliances, tools, mattresses, fitness equipment, and lawn and garden equipment, including Sears brands such as Kenmore appliances, Craftsman tools and lawn and garden products and DieHard car and boat batteries.

Sears Hometown Stores offer the Top 10 national appliance brands at guaranteed lowest prices. Through in-store kiosks, Sears Hometown Stores are able to offer the local community the full breadth of selection available on Sears.com. Local repair service is offered as well as product protection agreements and the promise of Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back.

Sears announced in December 2011 that its 51,000-square-foot anchor store in Bradley Square Mall was among the planned store closings.

Since then, Carmike Cinemas began construction on a theater complex scheduled for public opening Dec. 12, according to Bradley Square Mall General Manager Stacia Crye-Shahan.

Also, Belk recently invested $1.5 million in its 61,000-square-foot store.

The mall is in the second phase of a three-part makeover. Within the past 12 months, the mall has attracted about $9.6 million in new construction and renovations. Those figures include the $2.6 million mall makeover, construction of the Carmike Cinema and Belk’s remodeling project.