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Local Sears stores unaffected by closures

Trina Kleist
Staff Writer

The Sears stores in Grass Valley and Auburn will not be among those to be closed nationally because it is a franchise and privately held, the Auburn-based owner said.

And Sears customers can be assured of continued service for products bought there, said owner Ron Gaynor.

Future plans for the Kmart store on West McKnight Way are unclear. It was not on a list of 80 stores slated for closure owned by Sears Holdings Corp., but the company plans to release the locations of more underperforming stores set to be closed in the future, according to http://www.SearsMedia.com



Local Kmart managers would not discuss plans when contacted by The Union, and spokespeople at the corporate office in Illinois also would not discuss the future of specific stores.

Kmart is the only large, general merchandise chain store in western Nevada County. Its large parking lot off Highway 49 was packed in the week before Christmas.



In addition to Sears and Kmart stores acquired in 2005, Sears Holdings Corp. also owns Grand/Essentials, Land’s End, Great Outdoors and MyGofer subsidiaries, according to the corporate website.

Sears stores also come in different configurations, including Sears Outlet.

Sears Holdings, based in Hoffman Estates, Ill., is the fourth-largest broad-line retailer in the United States, according to a corporation report.

It has about 3,000 corporate-owned stores and about 1,000 franchises such as the one Gaynor owns, he said.

“All of the small, hometown stores are independently owned,” said Gaynor, who owns the appliance and electronics store on Idaho-Maryland Road in Grass Valley.

Some customers have held back on purchasing appliances because they are concerned about future servicing.

But Gaynor described the corporation as “healthy” and the decision to cut 100 to 120 poorly performing stores across all its subsidiaries as “prudent,” considering the continued poor economy.

As for the store in western Nevada County, “times are hard, but we’re getting by, and we’re going to be in a position to do well when the economy turns around,” Gaynor said.

National sales for the year ending on Dec. 25 were down for both Sears Domestic (-3.3 percent) and Kmart (-1.8 percent) stores, the corporation announced Tuesday.

Declines for both stores were linked to people buying fewer consumer electronics. Lower clothing sales and lay-aways at Kmart, and lower sales of home appliances at Sears also contributed, the corporation reported.

Closures announced at the same time include three Grand/Essentials stores in Southern California.

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To contact Senior Staff Writer Trina Kleist, e-mail tkleist@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4230.


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