Eight new jobs as new Sears store opens

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  • New store crew: Pictured at the MarketPlace's new Sears store are Randy Turner, store manager; Wolette Darrell, sales associate; Donald DeSilva, assistant manager; Blair Bean-Walls, sales associate; and Jamali Smith, sales associate. (Photo by Mark Tatem)

  • Appliances at the new Sears store (Photo by Mark Tatem)

  • Craftsman tools at the new Sears store (Photo by Mark Tatem)

  • Dyson vaccuums cleaners at the new Sears store (Photo by Mark Tatem)

Sears is now shipping directly to Bermuda, which also includes discount chain K-Mart, as both companies are under the Sears Holding Company.
K-Mart acquired Sears in 2005, forming a new corporation under the name Sears Holdings Corporation.
Through the Sears.com portal, Bermudian customers can now buy the brands and items offered at K-Mart, including toys, clothing and electronics.
“We have a wide-range of apparel, including clothing for infants, footwear, fine jewellery,” said Tom Aiello, division vice-president of public relations at Sears in an interview with The Royal Gazette.
Clothing brands include Carters, Kardashian and sports team brands.
The website, however, does not accept Bermuda-based credit cards.
“We currently accept payments using Visa, MasterCard, American Express (AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, USD) and China UnionPay (USD),” said Mr Aiello. “We also accept payments using PayPal in (AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, JPY, USD). We are constantly working on expanding our payment tender options to bring more choices to our international customers.”

The American department store, Sears, will open its doors in Bermuda next week offering a wide range of home products to shoppers and hiring eight new local staff.

Owned by MarketPlace, the new 12,000-square-foot store on Victoria Street will officially open its doors next Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Premier Paula Cox.

The new store will sell large and small appliances, lawn mowers, power tools, outside patio furniture, vacuums and BBQs. Brands include LG, Whirpool, GE, Dyson and Kenmore, among others.

As Sears is the largest fitness retailer in the US, the Victoria Street store will also offer treadmills and step equipment.

It is not a franchise but independently owned, which according to a MarketPlace spokesperson, is the case with all US locations which are called Sears Hometown Stores.

According to the company, in 2009, PriceRite, the bulk store also under the MarketPlace umbrella, lost a number of their US suppliers due to the economic recession so the company began looking for replacement suppliers.

“Rather than go to 50 different suppliers for 50 different items, we felt it was easier to negotiate good prices with just one,” said a MarketPlace spokeperson. “Sears has brand name recognition all over the world, it speaks for itself.”

The company bought the building adjacent to their grocery Shopping Centre location on Victoria Street, which was previously occupied by Furniture Basics. Eight Bermudian employees will staff the store, creating eight new jobs.

All products come with a one-year manufacturer’s guarantee but the store is working on an extended warranty as well. They will have a parts and service department and will offer service and delivery.

Eventually PriceRite will sell the ‘softer side of Sears’ products, including towels, sheets and draperies.

The front of the new Sears store will feature a ‘Solutions Station’ where customers can go online to find additional colours and brands of items they are looking for, should it not be in stock.

According to the company, due to their shipping relationships through MarketPlace and PriceRite, they expect products to arrive in Bermuda ten days after a customer places an order.

Asked how business might be starting out in the first quarter of the year, a traditionally slow time of the year for retailers, a spokesperson said: “March isn’t the best time of year to open after everyone has spent their money on Christmas but there is a need for what we sell.”

“We feel we’re filling a void since HomeZone is closed,” they added. “We will offer quality and variety at every day low prices and if we do our job well, people will shop Bermuda. It’s what the market screams for and deserves.”

The store will be open Monday-Friday, 9 to 7pm and Sunday from 1-5pm with free parking next to the store.

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Published Feb 29, 2012 at 6:20 am (Updated Feb 29, 2012 at 6:18 am)

Eight new jobs as new Sears store opens

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