DeKALB – It was business as usual at the local Sears store, and it will continue to be.
A steady flow of customers who rolled in Friday morning browsed the sort of products you’d expect them to on a beautiful day: lawnmowers and grills.
The store’s been getting a lot of calls and emails asking whether they’ll close. Sears Holdings has gone from 3,400 U.S. stores and 370 more in Canada in 2006 to just 1,400 at the end of January – all in the U.S.
The local Sears, however, is not part of Sears Holdings. It’s a Sears Hometown and Outlet Store, part of the publicly traded corporation that separated from Sears Holdings Corp. in 2012.
By 11 a.m., four sales had been made at the DeKalb store, which is tucked into a strip center just west of the intersection of Sycamore Road and Barber Greene Road at 2359 Sycamore Road.
“Business is good for us,” store manager Rob Crawley said. “We do our best to care for every customer who walks through that door – whether they’re buying today or not.”
The DeKalb location has eight employees – four full-time and four part-time.
“Our store has been part of this community for decades, and our customers have followed us as we’ve moved locations around town,” Crawley said. “Today, our store is thriving, and looking forward to being a valued community partner in DeKalb and the surrounding communities for many years to come.”
The Hometown stores carry the same nameplate brands, Craftsman and Kenmore, that customers have associated with Sears for years. They still honor the lifetime warranty on home tools, and offer any of the products you’d expect to see in a Sears store, Crawley said.
The local store takes pride in its vendor-certified employees, who can assist customers, should they get home and have issues with a product.
“We’re going to follow up to make sure you know exactly what’s going on in your home, and what we can do to resolve any issues you might see with delivery process – something you don’t see from our competitors,” Crawley said. “Our customers are truly customers to us. They’re not just a sale.”
The store also serves as a site for manager training. In fact, Crawley, who’s managed the store for more than two years, was running a training meeting Friday.
Meanwhile, on the sales floor, Monica Casey, who’s worked in the store since February, and for Sears “on and off” for eight years, helped Mike and Hope Tucker of Sycamore finalize the purchase of a lawnmower for their son, who’s getting married in July.
“It’s not his wedding gift,” Mike said. “We wouldn’t do that.”