Many national chains are shrinking in size as shoppers change their habits.
The Sears in Woodland Mall closed in March but the company is reworking some of its smaller locations in more rural communities including Manistee and Fremont, as well as Lapeer.
"We have appliances, tools, lawn and garden we don't carry little things like close or electronics, says Heather Houseman, owner of the Hometown Sears store, now called America's Appliance Experts.
America's Appliance Experts is similar to a franchise -- the smaller stores carry Sears products and follow Sears pricing, however they are operated by Sears Holdings.
"We've built up a client base, they are dedicated to us," Houseman says. "I think some of the hometown stores offer better customer service, that's kept us going."
The employees at America's Appliance Experts can also help customers shop online, if the store doesn't have what they need. "We have a large client base that doesn't have internet around here because its rural," Houseman explained. "We also have an older clientele."
This weekend the Fremont stores and others around the state are holding a grand re-opening.
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