by Nat Frothingham
BERLIN — The locally owned and operated Sears Hometown Store on the Barre-Montpelier Road recently held a grand re-opening celebration on three days during the April 23–25 weekend with deep discounts on offer including 25 percent off all appliances and 20 percent off power lawn and garden equipment.
When asked about the success of the weekend celebration, Ron Clark, a manager, told The Bridge that the company had its best Saturday of the year on April 25 both in numbers of people visiting the store and total sales. Then Clark said: “Froggie was here.” Froggie, of course, is the local, and very popular country music radio station that can be found on the dial at 100.9 FM.
In reaching out to the public, timing is often important and the celebration and end-of-April sale came just as customers were ready to think about spring and summer after a long winter.
Another element that may have contributed to the success of the April 23-25 celebration was an updated display and the availability of higher-end appliances. “We have updated our appliances,” said Tom Coulter who co-owns the store along with his wife, Robin. What updating means is that Sears Hometown has expanded the selection of its appliances including such items as stoves, refrigerator, washing machines, dishwashers and the like.
Talking about refrigerators, Tom Coulter said that Sears Hometown has an expanded refrigerator selection with a price range from $3,500 to $6,000. “We have the higher end stuff for people,” he said
In addition to the new displays and expanded selections Sears Hometown offers a range of Craftsman tool sets and tool storage and its outdoor living display includes grills, outdoor storage units and patio furniture.
Said Tom Coulter, “We are a franchise. Sears is our supplier. We want to encourage our shoppers to shop locally, as opposed to point and click.” What that means in practice is “if you phone, you are going to talk to me. You are going to talk to Robin.”