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Monday, December 19, 2022

Sears Hometown

Was informed of this some time ago and the name Sears struck me, in the day had consulted with Sears and often shopped there.  Used to have the best prices.  Knew of Sears Holdings, which at this time primarily was involved with former store real estate.    Gone now it seems. 

RIP Sears Hometown

Dec 15, 2022 by George Anderson

Put a fork in it. Sears Hometown is truly done.

The company, made up of franchisees currently operating about 100 small stores selling appliances, hardware, tools, and lawn and garden equipment, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday.

“What is happening here is this company is going out of business,” Mark Minuti, an attorney for Sears Hometown, said yesterday at the first bankruptcy hearing, according to Bloomberg. “Make no mistake about it: this is a sad day for our company.”

The ending of Sears Hometown marks another disappointing and demoralizing chapter in the larger story of Sears under the control of Eddie Lampert.

Sears Hometown, which was spun off by Sears Holdings in 2012, had around 1,250 stores operating in 2014 under the banners Sears Hometown Stores, Sears Home Appliance Showrooms, Sears Appliance & Hardware Stores and Sears Outlet Stores.

CNN reports that Sears Hometown had around 700 stores operating three years ago.

A 2020 Wall Street Journal article found Sears Hometown franchisees complaining about being squeezed by Sears. They reported having trouble getting the inventory they needed and then being penalized if they matched prices for products sold on sears.com. Tom Coulter, a franchisee in Vermont, told the Journal that his store went from being profitable to losing money in four years as a result.

Transformco, controlled by Mr. Lampert, reacquired Sears Hometown in 2019 as part of Sears’ bankruptcy. There are currently about 15 Sears stores remaining, with the last full line store in Maryland slated to close in January.

There is little debate that the end of Sears Hometown, and the all but predetermined ends of Sears and Kmart, are the doing of Mr. Lampert, who for years issued annual missives arguing that retail industry watchers and others were simply not bright enough to understand his grand plan for creating a retailing powerhouse.  ... ' 

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