Dowagiac Sears not closingPublished 9:00pm Thursday, February 2, 2012
Dowagiac’s Sears Hometown Store is not closing, owner John Fox said Thursday.
Fox said the store adjacent to Family Fare on M-51 South has been a Hometown Store since he opened it in 1997, making it one of the oldest in Michigan.
Sears Holdings Corp. plans to close 100 to 120 stores and take a charge of as much as $1.8 billion as the retailer’s sales sagged during the holiday season.
Closing rumors occasionally circulate, such as when Benton Harbor’s shut in September 2009. It had been an Orchards Mall anchor with 73 employees.
In fact, Fox said, Dowagiac’s store is a Premier Dealer, an award recognizing customer service and outstanding store performance and standards.
Only 20 percent of Sears Hometown Stores earn this lofty achievement.
Hometown Stores, formerly known as Sears Authorized Dealer Stores, are part of Sears Holdings Corp.’s retail operation.
They are small-store versions of Sears’ full-line department stores.
Sears Hometown Stores were established in 1993. Sears Home Appliance Showrooms, added in 2007, offer primarily appliances.Stores are located away from shopping malls and serve local communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.
Previous Dowagiac Sears stores, such as one on W. Railroad Street in the Donker Shopping Center which moved farther out on M-51 South, were catalog outlets.
Hometown Stores are owned by individuals who provide facility and staff to sell Sears merchandise.
“I’m a commissioned contractor,” said Fox, 70, who does not foresee retiring any time soon, either.