Corbin’s Sears Hometown store is currently liquidating its inventory and will close for good in early January.
Kyle Perkins, owner of the store, and part owner of the Forest Hills Shopping Center where it resides, said the decision to close the store became a necessity after Sears Corp. reduced the bonus system and commission payments that made up about 40 percent of pay received by employees of the store.
“We were always in the top one or two in the district, which included a lot of stores. Nationally, we were in the top 10 of all stores,” Perkins said. “The store was successful and hitting all of the operating goals set by Sears, but they elected to reduce commissions and other payments to dealers which sort of forced the decision to be made.”
“They made it financially impossible to continue.”
Perkins said sales dropped dramatically when Sears announced bankruptcy plans in November, noting that many people did not know the nuanced difference between Sears Corp. and its Hometown Stores. He added that it had become problematic even getting inventory to sell to customers, particularly on some appliances.
“I’m one to hang in there, but there’s just too many checks in the negative column,” Perkins said.
Sears reopened in its new, extensively renovated location at Forest Hills Shopping Center in May of 2017. Kitchen Tune Up and Benjamin Moore paint stores were added next door to provide “cross marketing” opportunities. Both of those stores will remain open despite the closure of Sears Hometown.
Perkins said the move would impact four employees.
“We haven’t really started looking for a new tenant for that space yet, but we’ve had pretty good luck filling it up somehow, so I’m optimistic,” Perkins said.