Throwback pricing for Sears anniversaryPublished 9:36pm Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Dowagiac’s Sears Hometown Store, 56153 M-51 South, is joining a national celebration which happens to coincide with Summer in the City.
Sears’ “throwback” promotional weekend July 26-27 marks two decades since Sears, Roebuck and Co. did a final run of its “Big Book” catalog stores, closing catalog stores such as Dowagiac had and shifting to a new retail model of locally owned and operated dealer stores.
Owner John Fox has been around since he and his former partner, Jerry Paller, built the Sears store, which opened in 1997.
For three years, Fox focused on their former South Haven store.
Paller left the picture in 2003. Going back to his days at Sun Appliance, Fox brings half a century of experience — since 1963.
“We thought this would be a good opportunity,” Fox said Wednesday, “so we looked for a building. There wasn’t one, so we built this one. We try to provide knowledge and information in making a purchase without high pressure. Hopefully, we can help customers avoid pitfalls of making a purchase that won’t work for them.”
Dowagiac’s Sears store is one of 900 nationwide that came about as a result of that move.
To commemorate the 20-year anniversary, Friday and Saturday the store is featuring current versions of some popular items advertised in 1993, with the same or lower pricing than then.
Sears will also be having sidewalk sales on closed-out merchandise to tie in with the three-day festival downtown, which gets underway today.
One “Super Buy” advertised in 1993 was a three-cubic-foot capacity, 11-cycle Kenmore washer for $429.99,” according to COO Will Powell. “During the throwback weekend, we’ll offer a comparable Kenmore washer, but it will have larger capacity, more cycles, an energy-star rating and it will be priced under $400.”
In addition to other featured throwback pricing, each shopper receives an anniversary scratch card for an additional “mystery discount” of up to an additional 20 percent off the shopper’s purchase.
These cards will be available while they last. Terms and conditions apply. Further details can be found in the store.
Bruce Johnson, president and CEO of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc., said, “Looking back over the past 20 years, we’re celebrating tremendous progress. Everyone has memories of ordering from the eagerly awaited Big Book for delivery to a local catalog store or their home. The Big Book is gone. But as much as things change, we continue to grow by providing top-notch customer service, and we still provide incredible values.”
Since launching the dealer store model, Sears Hometown Stores have since grown into a network of more than 900 locations and are now part of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc., a publicly traded company separate from Sears Holdings Corp.
These stores primarily sell appliances, tools, lawn and garden equipment and seasonal outdoor products.
“The Sears Hometown format caters to members of this community,” Fox said. “Our business is built around a service model that places emphasis on helping a customer find exactly what they need at a great, low price. Bottom line, the people of Dowagiac keep our business going. We are excited to honor them and celebrate two decades of the Hometown feel. Many smaller items can be ordered online and sent to the customer’s home with free shipping.”
Fox’s customers primarily come from Dowagiac, Niles, Cassopolis and Decatur, but also Edwardsburg, Sister Lakes and Eau Claire.
Besides the appliances, electronics, lawn and garden equipment and tools with which consumers associate Sears, Dowagiac’s Hometown Store on M-51 South next to Family Fare features Sealy mattresses, treadmills and a selection of gift cards. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.