Sears is searching for an entrepreneur to open a Sears Hometown Store in Missoula, a move that comes one day after the company announced the June closure of its full-line retail store at Southgate Mall.
Gerald Huston, regional development manager for Sears Hometown Stores, said the company will begin searching for new real estate and a partner to own and operate the outlet.
“We’re looking for a highly motivated member of the Missoula community who wants to operate a successful business and is customer service-oriented,” said Huston. “If you are the owner of retail area commercial real estate with between 8,000 and 10,000 square feet, we’d like to talk to you.”
Huston said the Sears Authorized Hometown Store program is not considered a franchise program because Sears doesn’t require an individual to purchase the inventory or pay an annual licensing fee.
Huston said the stores are supported by the Sears retail network, which includes all inventory, advertising, point-of-sale computer systems, delivery, support and training.
The owner is responsible for startup costs and operating expenses.
William Powell, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, said the new store will sell the top national brands at “guaranteed lowest prices.”
Along with appliances, the outlet store will sell lawn and garden supplies, Craftsman tools, mattresses and fitness equipment. It also includes a kiosk offering items available on sears.com.
“We want the new Sears Hometown Store to be the first choice for consumers in Missoula for all of their needs around the home and access to all the brands for which Sears is known,” said Powell. “The owner has a chance to build a successful business, our customers can shop closer to home and our brand reconnects with local consumers.”
The Sears Hometown program was created in 1993. The program includes stores in each of the 50 states. The Missoula store will become the 11th Hometown Store in Montana.
"We've got a lot of movement on it already," said Huston. "Hopefully we'll get it open by June or July."
For more information, contact Huston at (816) 674-3833, or visit ownasearsstore.com.