PITTSBURG — The Sears Hometown Store in Pittsburg is back under area ownership, and with new services.
Ken Hutchins, of Nevada, Missouri, purchased the Sears Hometown Store this month after the previous owner left in July 2017. For several months, the store was kept as a transition store and owned by Sears, but with Hutchins in control, he said new services are being implemented.
Hutchins said Sears didn’t provide quick, local delivery and installation. Last February, he also purchased the Sears Hometown Store in Parsons, which will allow him to share resources.
“With the two stores, I can share staff between stores and the truck,” he said. “So I can deliver locally — sometimes the same day — and have cheaper delivery and installation costs.”
Along with the two Sears Hometown stores, Hutchins owns Save-A-Lot grocery stores in Parsons and Joplin.
Hutchins said he was drawn to the Sears Hometown Stores because they are locally owned, and separate from Sears Holdings.
“Sears Holdings has had some hard financials recently,” he said. “But Sears Hometown Stores is its own company. It’s important for people to know that we are locally owned and stable.”
According to Hutchins, a new computer system was implemented in Sears Hometown Stores to further separate itself from Sears Holdings.
Two changes Hutchins is excited about include a price matching program and the store’s new designation as an American Appliance Experts store. He said both stores in Parsons and Pittsburg are AAE stores.
“That designation does two main things,” Hutchins said. “One, it allows us to offer 10 different appliance manufactures — all major brands — and to match the price from any other location, as long as the customer has proof of the price.”
The store can also match a price up to 14 days after an item is purchased.
“Those are some of the main reasons I like the Sears Hometown Stores,” Hutchins said. “And why I wanted to purchase a second store here to supplement the community.”