A year after the West Leb Sears announced its closing, Sears and Kmart, which are owned by the same company, are rolling out what they're calling "a store within a store." The new Sears Home Appliances shop inside the West Leb Kmart will have its grand opening tomorrow -- Saturday, June 23 -- from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. "In celebration of the opening," Sears says, they'll be offering 40 percent off select items until the end of the day Saturday.
According to a Sears press release, "The new and innovative concept is among a small group opening nationwide and will offer major home appliances, including refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners and ranges, as well as the full suite of integrated retail services from Sears."
It's no secret that both Sears and Kmart have been struggling. The two retailers joined forces in 2004, and since then have closed thousands of stores between them.
Anthony Boston and Shannon Wright came over from Sears in Concord to help.
Inside Kmart on Friday, though, everything was upbeat. Kmart employees were already showing stoves and refrigerators to inquiring customers. Two employees of the Sears store in Concord had come up to help with the opening and work with Kmart staff to train them and iron out any wrinkles as they deal with customers. They were unpacking Sears-branded water bottles and getting things ready for Saturday.
"I actually saw this coming years ago," said one of them, Anthony Boston. "It didn't make sense to have all these stores [owned by the same company] so close to each other." His colleague, Shannon Wright, added, "You still have the same shoppers, but now they're in one location."
And Boston sees the move as a step in the right direction for a region that lost its standalone Sears. "We're trying to regain market share," he said.