Sears Canada unveils Hometown look
Michael J. Knell -- Furniture Today, June 24, 2013
ORILLIA, Ontario — Sears Canada is continuing its push to reestablish itself as this country's dominant furniture, mattress and major appliance retailer with the unveiling of its new concept Hometown store here.
At 25,000 square feet, Orillia is also the largest of the 248 independent dealer stores Sears operates across the country.
In addition to an upgraded assortment of furniture, mattresses and appliances, the outlet also is flooring a broad offering of other big ticket seasonal goods including barbecues, patio furniture and outdoor power equipment such as tractors, lawnmowers and snow blowers. It will also feature fitness equipment.
"This is a concept store for us," Terri Lowe, Sears Canada's vice president of Hometown, said in an interview. She said that if it's successful, it will serve as the model for the banner's future development and expansion.
The next largest Hometown store, at 18,000 square feet, is in Airdrie, Alberta.
The new Orillia Hometown store is owned and operated by Martin and Angela Russell, veterans of the banner who previously ran the outlet in nearby Haliburton, Ontario. They sold that store in order to open the store here in the heart of Ontario's cottage country.
Lowe said the new Hometown concept is a significant departure from the older dealer store model. The store is designed to offer a more enjoyable shopping experience, by incorporating updated visual presentation standards with less clutter and a wider selection of merchandise offerings at everyday low prices.
The furniture and mattress assortment focuses on the publicly held retailer's Whole Home label. The bedding department has a 50-unit display while the furniture area boasts a Whole Home feature wall.
Lowe said Orillia will be able to fully support Sears Canada's current go-to-market strategy, which emphasizes customization - the company wants to enable the consumer to choose her own fabrics, finishes and features when making a purchase.
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