Sears Hometown stores in Sequim, Port Angeles to close

Region’s shutdowns follow nationwide trend

A customer enters Sears Hometown Store in Port Angeles on Monday after the store announced it will close following a clearance sale. Both the Sears Hometown Stores in Port Angeles and Sequim are closing, and their former owner said she wanted to keep one open but had disagreements with her corporate partners. (Peter Segall / Peninsula Daily News)

A customer enters Sears Hometown Store in Port Angeles on Monday after the store announced it will close following a clearance sale. Both the Sears Hometown Stores in Port Angeles and Sequim are closing, and their former owner said she wanted to keep one open but had disagreements with her corporate partners. (Peter Segall / Peninsula Daily News)

PORT ANGELES — The Sears Hometown Stores in Port Angeles and Sequim, the only Sears stores on the North Olympic Peninsula, will be closing soon following the retirement of the stores’ local owner.

The owner of Clallam County’s two stores, Sheri Ingle, told Peninsula Daily News she retired because she wasn’t able to reach an agreement with her corporate partners.

“I told Sears that I wanted to just go down to one store and keep it open for the community,” Ingle said.

Ingle said the expected closure date was Oct. 2, but that could change depending on the circumstances at each store.

The Clallam County stores have begun clearance sales, with mark-downs as high as 40 percent as of Thursday. A manager at the Port Angeles store declined to comment about the closure.

Ingle, a lifelong Port Angeles resident, said she tried to convince her corporate partners to keep the Sequim store open, but close the Port Angeles location, and had gone so far as to begin purchasing the building in Sequim where to store is located.

Sears’ parent company, Transformco, did not respond to a request for comment.

Sears Hometown Stores are locally owned and operated distributors of Sears appliances. According to the corporate website, owners are responsible for operating costs such as rent and payroll, but the company retains ownership of the inventory.

Ingle said it was difficult to keep the two stores open and fully staffed with the two locations so close to each other and essentially serving the same population.

But according to Ingle, Sears wanted to keep both stores open, so Ingle decided to retire in August.

She said she had understood that the stores would remain open under corporate ownership.

“We got (the stores) pristine and the employees were onboard with staying,” Ingle said. “I literally was retired for six days and they announced the stores were closing.”

Ingle said there were five employees between the two stores.

Sears was once one of the largest corporations in the U.S. but had seen financial troubles for years. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2018, and was purchased by Transformco the next year.

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores was established as an independent company in 2012 but was acquired by Transformco during the purchase of Sears assets, according to a June 3, 2019, news release from the company.

“Since purchasing substantially all the assets of Sears Holdings Corporation in February 2019, Transformco has faced a difficult retail environment and other challenges,” the company said in a November 2019 news release announcing the closure of 96 Sears and Kmart stores, which it also owns.

CNN Business reported in May roughly 100 Sears Hometown stores were closing nationally.

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at psegall@soundpublishing.com.

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