By JOEL PHELPS | The Arkadelphian
A local appliance store that is part of a nationwide chain will soon cease operations, as the franchise recently announced plans to shut stores across the U.S.
The Sears Hometown Store in Arkadelphia, located at 2919 W. Pine St., will remain open at least through January, according to owner and operator Harold Ledford.
The parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month. There are at least 121 Sears Hometown Store locations across the U.S. The latest news comes on the heels of a decision earlier this year to close 100 Sears locations across the nation. Six locations in Arkansas, including the Nashville Sears, were affected by those closures.
The most recent closings are expected to affect all Sears Hometown locations. Jesse Taylor, who owns the Malvern location, said in a Facebook post that all locations were notified of the bankruptcy and that all operations are shutting down.
“They’re closing all the mom and pop shops,” said Ledford. Owners of local chain stores, he added, were blind-sided by the news as the company in recent weeks had promised a successful 2023. “We were told about all the good things that were going to be happening in the next year,” Ledford said.
In Camden, owner/operators Russ and Lindsay Fridell also took to social media, making it clear it wasn’t the local owners responsible for filing the bankruptcy. “This is so very hard for us,” Lindsay said. “We aren’t just sad about us, we are sad for Camden. We never like to see a business close in our town.”
Ledford acquired the Arkadelphia location five years ago. He said he has no plans to re-open an appliance store under a different name, and thanked the community for its business over the years.
“I want to thank the people for supporting us while we were here,” Ledford said.