Sears Hometown Store in Kingsford adds mattresses to line of products
Locally owned and operated, not affected by Sears Holding closures
KINGSFORD — The Sears Hometown Store in Kingsford is alive and well with the recent addition of mattresses to its many products for sale.
The business in the Birchwood Mall at 610 Carpenter Ave. is independently owned and operated by Jackie Bourassa and includes a staff of seven.
None of the Sears Hometown Stores are affected by the announcement from Sears Holding Corp. in February it planned to close a number of its stores after a major restructuring of that company.
The Kingsford store is among 900 hometown stores nationwide that are locally owned. Bourassa said the store became privately owned in 1993, starting out as a dealer store. She took over as owner in 2009 after working for several years for the previous owner, Merle Parsons.
The Sears Hometown Store in Kingsford sells several brand name home appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers and dishwashers; consumer electronics; tools; lawn and garden equipment; and outdoor living.
“The newest thing is selling mattresses. And the prices are very good compared to our competitors. We have the four best mattress models on display at our Hometown Store,” Bourassa said.
They have been known as an appliance store but can order anything a customer might want from Sears, including housewares, clothing and marketplace items.
Another important part of the local store is its service department.
“We provide service for all products, including items sold at other stores. We get a lot of calls from people who have purchased their appliances from other stores that don’t service them. Our Sears Home Service is very busy,” she said.
Bourassa added that for any item purchased for $400 or more at the Sears Hometown Store, they will deliver and make sure it is set up and working correctly.
They will also haul away old appliances for their customers.
Another service the local store has is a leasing program, Lease IT, with no credit required. It’s not like a rent-to-own business. Customers lease the appliance or equipment and can take advantage of early buyout options at 30, 60 or 90 days or five months. After five months, they can decide to continue to lease, buy out items or return them.
“We provide that personal service to people, and want to encouraged them to stop in and see us so they can talk about what they are interested in buying. If you order something online, you don’t get that kind of personal service. I get calls from people all the time who ordered online and when they get it, can’t figure out how to work it,” Bourassa said.
But by stopping in and ordering through the Sears Hometown Store, customers get follow up service and the local store makes sure that everything is working right with their new purchase.
“We count on people in town to shop locally and it also pays off for them. So many people need what we can provide them — showing them how to operate an appliance, tool or equipment they purchase,” Bourassa said.
Unfortunately, with Sears’ announcement it would shutter some locations, many people thought the Kingsford store was affected as well, she said.
The company July 7 announced another eight Sears will close by early October along with 35 Kmarts, including one in Escanaba.
“It’s only the Sears Holdings stores … We are still open and have a lot to offer customers in terms of selection and prices,” she said.
Another feature of the local store is all employees are trained on the appliances and products they sell.
“We can explain to the customers how to use them as well as what the special features each one has. The manufacturers have all put out website videos for our staff to view so they become familiar with the products they sell,” Bourassa said.
Linda Lobeck can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 29, or firstname.lastname@example.org.