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New Sears Outlets, independently-owned stores open

Plano, Texas -- Sears announced four new store openings today in its Sears Hometown and Outlet formats, as well two new showrooms.

Sears Outlet stores opened in Pensacola, Fla.; Birmingham, Ala.; Portage, Mich.; Brooksville, Fla.; and San Antonio. Sears Hometown stores opened their doors in North Kingstown, R.I.; Moline, Ill.; Springhill, La.; and Collinsville, Va. In addition, Sears Home Appliance Showrooms in Murphy, Texas and in Louisville, Ky., are also open.

Big box retailers like Walmart and Target have also been embracing the small store trend with new formats. Last month, Walmart said it planned to add approximately 270 to 300 small stores during the fiscal year.

Sears Outlet Stores, on average, have 18,000 square feet of retail space with items marked below manufacturers' suggested retail prices. Merchandise includes new, one-of-a-kind, discontinued, used, reconditioned, overstocked, and cosmetically blemished products.

Sears Home Appliance Showrooms are tackling the consumer practice of showrooming with a price-match policy that aims to guarantee the lowest price on top appliance brands. Showrooms are equipped with an internet kiosk where customers can view similar products, price match with other retailers, and order products not available in the store.

Sears Hometown Stores offer the selection and services associated with larger retail stores, the company said, but are owned and operated by a member of the local community.

"Since we have the buying power of a large department store and the distinctiveness of an independently-owned retailer, we're able to offer our customers not only great products at the lowest prices but also exceptional customer service and a superior in-store experience. We're happy to fill the void in our community,” Kelli Harris, who co-owns the Sears Hometown Store in Springhill with her husband, Adam, said in a statement.

The store format allows customers in small communities to have access to products and brands usually found only in Sears stores. If a product is not available in-stores, Sears Hometown Store associates can order product from Sears for customers. Customers also have the option to order products online and pick them up in the store without a shipping charge.

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