Sears store to come to town
Published 8:23 pm, Wednesday, August 4, 2010
In October, an entrepreneur's dream business will become a reality.
For Washington resident Bala Balendra. that's when his Sears Hometown Store is targeted to open on Danbury Road (Route 7) in New Milford.
"This is very exciting for me," said Mr. Balendra, a former Home Depot employee in both Danbury and New Milford. "I was one of the major salespeople on the floor in the Danbury Home Depot, getting hard to find items ordered for customers.
"I decided I wanted to go into my own franchise and the Sears franchise made the most sense," he said.
Sears Hometown Stores were developed 16 years ago to serve Sears customers in locations outside of major metropolitan cities. The stores carry all of the top home appliance brands, consumer electronics, tools and lawn and garden equipment as well as parts for home-repairs of products.
There are just two in the state, with a third store planned in Colchester and discussions now underway in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown, said Arthur Burke, northeast region development manager for Sears Hometown Stores.
"We have had great success with our existing Connecticut stores and expect to have the same success in New Milford," Mr. Burke said. "I have been to the New Milford site and there is excitement on the part of everyone involved."
Mr. Balendra's store will be 7,000-square-feet in size and located in the 507 Plaza on Danbury Road, next to the 1st & 10 Sports Bar and Grill.
"We're excited," said the town's economic development supervisor, Vin Nolan. "This brings the Sears name brand into the community. The challenge at the 507 Plaza has been to establish a destination site there."
"I've bought Kenmore appliances and Craftsman tools for my own use for years," Mr. Balendra said. "Sears appliances represent 35 percent of national appliance sales. They're definitely doing something right."
"Opening my store will be providing quality products," he said, "and a service to the community."
Open seven days a week, the store will also offer computer kiosk stations for ordering Sears products not on the showroom floor.
A grand opening is planned for late fall with prize give-aways and sale pricing on select items.