Sears returning to mall as a ‘Hometown Store’
by DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor
Feb 21, 2013 | 2488 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sears will return to Cleveland as a Sears Hometown Store in Bradley Square Mall. The new store near Big Kmart is scheduled to open in mid-April. Banner photo, DAVID DAVIS
Sears will return to Cleveland as a Sears Hometown Store in Bradley Square Mall. The new store near Big Kmart is scheduled to open in mid-April. Banner photo, DAVID DAVIS
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A familiar name will return to Cleveland in mid-April in the form of a Sears Hometown Store at Bradley Square Mall.

The retail space is under construction next to the north entrance to Big Kmart. The store will also have its own exterior entrance.

Sears Hometown Stores regional development manager Jackie Adams said Tuesday that Cleveland resident Greg Hamilton stepped forward after a news article was published in the Cleveland Daily Banner in November. She disclosed no other information about the owner who is in training the rest of this week.

The 8,500-square-foot store will incorporate three retail suites and offer a wide selection of well-known Sears brands such as Kenmore appliances, Craftsman tools, lawn and garden products, and DieHard car and boat batteries, according to Sears’ website.

Adams said in November that after Sears closed its catalog stores in the early 1990s, they were resurrected in their current form. Since 1993, Sears has helped entrepreneurs open Hometown Stores in all 50 states.

“The store will only carry the very best sellers, but customers can order anything sold online at Sears.com. The local store would get credit for any transaction that begins or ends at the store,” she said.

Hamilton will own and operate the retail business and focus on product sales and customer service. Sears will provide the entire store inventory on consignment.

“The local owner is responsible for start-up and ongoing operating expenses associated with the store, including building or leasing a facility; providing in-store fixtures; hiring and training employees; payroll; and insurance,” Adams said in November. “The Sears Authorized Hometown Store Program is not considered a franchise program, because Sears does not require an individual to purchase inventory or pay an annual licensing fee. The stores are supported by the Sears retail network, which includes providing all inventory, advertising, point-of-sale computer systems, delivery support and training.”

Sears announced in December 2011 that its 51,000-square-foot anchor store in Bradley Square Mall was among the planned store closings. No announcements have been made about what is moving into the space.

Since losing the anchor store, the mall has undergone a significant remodeling program including Carmike Cinemas opening the Bradley Square 12 theater complex. Santa Fe Cattle Co. is also building a restaurant in the mall that should open in the summer.

Also, Belk recently invested $1.5 million in its 61,000-square-foot store.