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Sears Hardware, dead chain?

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 16:41
by Ephrata1966
Is Sears Hardware kind of an orphan brand now? Like when Acme stopped using the Super Saver name, but kept Super Saver signs on the stores for a while? "Big" Kmart also used to mean something, but I guess it wasn't advertised well and too many stores (usually older Kmarts) sloppily used that name. Same with Pathmark "Super Center". I would think there would be some kind of website for this division of the company. And apparently Ace Hardware has started selling Craftsman products. This seems funny...

Sears Hardware has closed their Marlton, Exton, and Lansdale stores in this area in that order. The Marlton one was an Acme and before that Clover grocery section. In Exton, Sears Hardware was in a center from the early 90's, but the plaza seemed to fail in the early 2000s. Not only Sears Hardware but many other anchors closed or moved. Among them were Clemens Markets, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Rite Aid, and PLCB Wine & Spirits. But now it has made a comeback. The tiny Clemens (started as Shop n Bag) was next to Sears Hardware and the wall was taken down. Not sure which was which, but the two spaces now form a combined Marshalls/HomeGoods. As I recall Marshalls moved from the original Exton Hechinger plaza, which also had and still has a TJ Maxx, even though it was built a few years before TJ Maxx bought Marshalls. The old Marshalls is a Big Lots now. Anyway the Sears Hardware center also was refurbished with a Bonefish restaurant (owned by Outback) and a "Deal$" dollar store (owned by Dollar Tree).

The closing of the Lansdale store sounded like bad news for the center. Genuardi's there closed not long after Sears Hardware, and both lasted 20 years. Sears Optical is gone now too. Rite Aid still has a seemingly high-volume store there, but it was a small Thrift Drug/Eckerd and could use a remodel.

The Sears Hardware I used to go to in Houston was in the same building as an "adult" business! Maybe that was a condition of no zoning, but those places in Houston are known for all kinds of crime. The older Staples (was A&P/Grossman's) in Marlton at least used to have the same problem along with the old Food Fair/Pantry Pride in Sharon Hill. That store has since been Big Lots, then Save-A-Lot, and now Family Dollar.

The only Sears Hardware stores left seem to be in Norristown (old Hechinger), Cobbs Creek (West Philly), and Kennett Square. I am trying to figure out when those last two opened. The Cobbs Creek one was next to an Acme which was Penn Fruit. That Acme MIGHT have been remodeled when Sears Hardware opened (1995?), even though the Acme closed in 2001 and became Ross Dress for Less in 2003. The Kennett Square one has early 2000s "Sears Appliance & Hardware" signs, but those might not be original. Because that store is sort of by itself and in between a Super Fresh shopping center from 1992 and a Wal-Mart/Walmart from 2003.

Re: Sears Hardware, dead chain?

Posted: 30 Jul 2011 02:20
by javelin
In California, Sears bought Orchard Supply Hardware, which itself had acquired several locations from Builders Emporium, and converted the few Sears hardware stores here to OSH.

Re: Sears Hardware, dead chain?

Posted: 30 Jul 2011 15:46
by umtrr-author
In what may be a related development, a small Sears has opened in a local "strip shopping center" (in which the "anchor" store is a Tops Supermarket). It's in a former Blockbuster Video location, so you can get a sense of the rather modest size. I have not actually been in there yet, but from the outside it appears to be appliances and hardware.

No qualifiers, just "Sears" on the sign which I think might help to answer your question.

I was very surprised to see this store opening. The closest full size Sears outlets are just about 10 to 15 minutes away in two different directions. There's a Home Depot across the street.

Edit: Should have mentioned that this is near Rochester, NY.

Re: Sears Hardware, dead chain?

Posted: 30 Jul 2011 22:25
by Ephrata1966
Thanks for letting me know about that one. Because you just reminded me of a Sears in Coatesville PA (halfway between Philadelphia and Lancaster) that I noticed about a year ago. Ironically JCPenney had a small downtown store nearby until not long ago that was done justice by a new mall store in nearby Exton. These are a lot like what used to be called Sears "Hometown Dealer" stores in the South. Funny the one you speak of was a Blockbuster. In Glen Mills PA, not far from Coatesville, the Gap (clothing store) in a shopping center downsized. Their new store next door had been one of the first Blockbusters to close, about five years ago now. I miss the old store because it was in a building identical to the Outback next door. Now the old Gap is a restaurant called Harvest. The place looks like a temple with a copper roof!

Re: Sears Hardware, dead chain?

Posted: 01 Aug 2011 19:14
by bobsjers
The one in Berlin NJ is still open. Not sure why that one survived, and others closed. There is a Home Depot aacross the street, and they opened a Lowe's down the road. There is also a KMart nearby, where people can buy Craftsmen things.


Re: Sears Hardware, dead chain?

Posted: 03 Aug 2011 21:39
by MikeRa
There is also Sears Hardware locations still open in Levittown, PA and Doylestown, PA

Re: Sears Hardware, dead chain?

Posted: 03 Aug 2011 23:37
by Ephrata1966
I just remembered another two: Warrington (former Acme) which opened 1995, and Morrisville (former Shop n Bag) which opened 1997. Both have newer signage now.

Re: Sears Hardware, dead chain?

Posted: 04 Aug 2011 06:31
by MikeRa
Ephrata1966 wrote:I just remembered another two: Warrington (former Acme) which opened 1995, and Morrisville (former Shop n Bag) which opened 1997. Both have newer signage now.
The Doylestown Sears Hardware and the Warrington Sears Hardware are the same.

Re: Sears Hardware, dead chain?

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 20:13
by robdude
Sears Hardware has been gone since probably 05 or 96 in SE MI. I miss it dearly; the prices weren't great but it was one of the closest retail establishments to my house and I really, really dislike ACO (SE MI hardware chain).