Steamboat store not part of Sears bankruptcy; continues to operate as usual | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat store not part of Sears bankruptcy; continues to operate as usual

Sears in Steamboat Springs is part of Sears Hometown and Outlets Stores, Inc. and is not connected to Sears Holding, which announced Monday morning that it will file Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That means the Steamboat store will continue to operate as normal and will not be among the more than 142 stores across the country that Sears Holdings will close by the end of the year as part of its reorganization. (Photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — On Monday, the news that Sears Holdings had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy quickly swept across the country where, at one time, the giant retail chain had stores in just about every town and every shopping mall.

But Jim Hansen, who owns a Sears store in Steamboat Springs, said the news will have no impact on what his store offers or the service customers have come to expect from the long-running Steamboat business.

"Our store is not part of the bankruptcy action by Sears Holdings — we are not a part of it at all,” Hansen said on Monday. "Sears Holding is not Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. The reason we are maintaining our Sears name is because of our vendor agreements."

Hansen has owned the Steamboat Sears since 2010. He said he was not surprised by Monday's news about the bankruptcy or the fact Sears Holdings — the parent company of Sears and Kmart — plans to close 142 stores by the end of the year. Sears Holdings plans to stay in business by keeping profitable stores open and continuing to serve customers online through the Sears and Kmart websites.

The bankruptcy will not change anything at the Steamboat Sears store.

"It remains business as usual at all of our locations, which include more than 750 retail stores in 49 states across the nation, which are operated by us, our dealer owners and franchisees," Hansen said. "We currently operate stores under various brand names, including Sears Hometown, Sears Appliance & Hardware, Sears Home Appliance Showroom, Sears Outlet and Buddy's Home Furnishings franchise."

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Hansen said his store, and those that operated under Sears Hometown and Outlet stores, are completely separate from the large retailer. The store will continue to offer name brands including DeWalt, Stanley Black & Decker, Husqavarna Group, Craftsman, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, General Electric Frigidaire, Bosch, Samsung, LG and Kenmore.

"We actually have more brands and more vendor opportunities than the old Sears when it comes to tools, appliances, lawn and garden, vacuums and everything," Hansen said. "Business is going to continue on as usual. Manufacture warranties are still in place. and Sears Hometown Protection agreements will be honored. Nothing is changing for us."

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. has not filed for bankruptcy and is not part of today's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Sears Holdings Corporation. Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. is a publicly owned company traded on Nasdaq — symbol: SHOS — that separated from Sears Holdings in 2012.

"We definitely knew it was coming," Hansen said. "To be honest, I'm excited about the future with Sears Home and Outlet Stores, Inc."

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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