Business news: Sears Hometown celebrates five strong years of business

After five strong years since opening, Sears Hometown Store in Luling continues to thrive thanks to the expertise of its staff, its commitment to customer service and willingness to continually expand their selection.

Those expanded offerings are up for sale just in time for St. Charles Parish’s upcoming sales tax holiday weekend Aug. 4 and 5, an event store owner Kathy Witmer said has annually yielded strong customer traffic and interest. It’s also a weekend that represents a prime time to save money while purchasing a major appliance: customers will receive a 7 percent break through the holiday, which has become an annual tradition aimed at stimulating the local economy.

“We’re getting ready for the tax reduction sale,” said Witmer. “We will be ready on the 4th and 5th to give our customers an opportunity to save an extra 7 percent.  It’s always a good sale. It’s one of our busiest weekends of the year.”

Recently, the store added a few more choices for its customers, some of which  have already become popular with customers, according to Witmer.

Large capacity washers and driers have been a hit, as have convection microwaves, which can especially come in handy at Thanksgiving, Witmer said, as they can serve as a second oven.

“Especially if you’re a little overwhelmed, it allows you to make the most of your time. You can cook the turkey in the regular oven and while that’s going on put your other items in the convection microwave,” Witmer said.

A neat wrinkle that can be found in some of the store’s air conditioning units is the addition of a wi/fi connection inside; it allows someone to activate it remotely via an application on their phone.

“So if someone is leaving work in the evening and they want to kick on the a/c so it’s nice and cool when they get home, they can do that and get comfortable as soon as they walk in the door,” Witmer said.

A similar device in the store’s selection of tractors can tell when it’s time to get an oil change or have maintenance done. The store’s black stainless steel appliances have also been popular.

Witmer praised her staff,  who are AAE (America’s Appliance Experts) certified as part of the Sears Hometown national effort to ensure store associates have industry leading comprehensive training, including brand specific selling certification.

These brand certified sales associates help ensure customers find the best products for their needs at the best possible price, she said.

“We tend to go that extra mile,” she said. “So the customer comes in with a product in mind, we show them the product and talk about it. But usually while we’re talking to them, we can find out maybe something else might be a better fit for them that they were not aware of. We need to show them that product as well so they can make a really educated decision when it comes to getting their appliance or meeting their lawn and garden needs.”

After five years of doing business in Luling, Witmer says she wouldn’t trade it.

“It’s been quite a ride,” she said. “We’ve been fortunate to be here in a parish that really supports you. People want to stay in the parish to shop. That’s been really nice.”


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