EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated on Nov. 20 to correctly cite the Sears entity behind the decision to close unprofitable stores, which included the Sears Hometown Store in Pekin. In this case, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. made the decision. We regret any confusion our error might have caused.
As part of its continuing strategy of assessing the productivity of its Sears and Kmart stores throughout the country, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. has closed outlets throughout the country in 2017. The move is part of an effort to adjust the Sears and Kmart store footprint in number and size.
“We will continue to close some unprofitable stores as we transform our business model so that our physical store footprint and our digital capabilities of our members,” said Howard Riefs, director of corporate communications for Sears Holdings, in a press release.
In 2017, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. announced the closing of approximately 150 Kmart and 50 Sears stores nationwide. Among the stores closing is Sears Hometown in Pekin, which gives the corporate policy a local impact.
“I think it’s unfortunate that the Sears store is closing,” said Bill Fleming, executive director of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce. “It will be a loss for our community. The store has a lot of products and services that aren’t available anywhere else in town.”
There is one short-term benefit that local shoppers can take advantage of before Sears Hometown’s Dec. 4 closure. Store closures inevitably mean liquidation sales. Reduced prices could make Sears Hometown an attractive spot for consumers who want to do some early holiday shopping.
While he appreciates the quality and selection of Sears merchandise, Dan Madden of Delavan does not believe the closing of the Pekin store will have any particular impact on him.
“It won’t really make all that much difference,” said Madden. “Sears has always had good merchandise, but I’ll be able to get what I want somewhere else.”
Sears Hometown Store is located at 3247 Court St., Pekin. Hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.