Sears Hometown Stores Help Veterans Through Small Business Ownership – Small Business Trends

Hoffman Estates, Illinois (PRESS RELEASE – March 14, 2011) – Each year, 250,000 active servicemen and servicewomen transition from military life to civilian life. Many of these men and women possess strong leadership skills, a committed work ethic and an energetic entrepreneurial spirit thanks to their military training and the experience they gain while serving in the military. Sears Hometown Stores provide a unique business opportunity for our veterans that can offer the prospect of small business success.

Demonstrating that America’s entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and thriving for veterans everywhere, Sergeant Edward Schrank, a 14-year Marine veteran, opened the doors to his very own Sears Hometown Store in Rochelle, Ill., on March 12. Sergeant Schrank won the Sears national contest “Operation Stores & Stripes,” which kicked off last May. His prize included the opportunity to own and operate this store.

“The opportunity to open a Sears Hometown Store has given me a chance to contribute to the local community and provide local jobs, products and services that did not exist in Rochelle before,” said Edward Schrank. “The ribbon cutting will be a way to celebrate the store opening, but even more importantly, it can remind people how veterans can come back to their communities and be key players in the area’s success.”

The official celebration for the Rochelle Hometown Store took place at the store; located at 540 Eagle Drive in Rochelle, Ill. Members of the Rochelle area Chamber of Commerce, as well as representatives of the local Small Business Administration were in attendance at the event. The ribbon cutting will took place at 11a.m. and a community celebration followed.

“Veterans tend to be very good at small business, and Sergeant Schrank is another example of the returning servicemen and women I meet every day who possess the skills, determination and discipline to succeed,” said William Elmore, associate administrator of veterans business development for the U.S. Small Business Administration. “Small business is a critical part of the U.S. economy, and Schrank is a great example of how veterans can build successful businesses within their communities that contribute to the local economy.”

Sears Hometown Stores is a unique retailing concept—each hometown store provides the value, selection and services associated with larger retail stores but is owned and operated by a member of the local community. Sears Hometown Stores deliver exceptional customer service along with a wide assortment of tools, appliances, electronics, fitness equipment and lawn & garden merchandise offered by Sears Holdings’ stores. This unique format allows customers in small communities to have access to the great products and brands usually only found in Sears stores.

“We look forward to watching Edward thrive as the newest member of our Hometown Stores family,” said Will Powell, president, Sears Hometown Stores. “We know that the success of Sears Hometown Stores is largely a credit to the owner-operators located across the country, and we are proud to support small business as a strong American tradition that fuels the economy.”

About Sears Hometown Stores

Sears Hometown Stores were developed 16 years ago to serve Sears customers in locations outside of major metropolitan cities. There are currently nearly 900 Hometown Stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. These stores carry all of the top home appliance brands, consumer electronics, tools and lawn and garden equipment. Sears Hometown Stores, LLC carry proprietary Sears’ brands, such as Craftsman, Kenmore and DieHard, as well as a wide assortment of national brands. In addition, Sears Hometown Stores are locally owned and operated by dedicated, hard-working individuals who take great pride in serving their communities and representing Sears nationwide.

About Sears Holdings Corporation

Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation’s fourth largest broadline retailer with over 4,000 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, consumer electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Sears Holdings is the 2010 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands’ End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has the Country Living collection, which is offered by Sears and Kmart. We are the nation’s largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation.

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