• Local Sears: new owners, special event make news
     | May 06,2013

    BERLIN — A local store owner wants people to know his business supports the “little guy.”

    Tom Coulter and his wife, Robin, took over the Sears on the Barre-Montpelier Road in April 2012. Since then, he said, they have expanded the tool section, bought new fixtures and added a bedding section. To show off the additions, as well as the new ownership, the store will be holding an event Friday and Saturday.

    Tom Coulter said the event, which runs during normal business hours of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, will feature special discounts, giveaways and raffles for items such as a new grill and a $250 Sears gift card. A cookout will be held at the store Saturday.

    Coulter said their store is not like the bigger corporate stores in Burlington or West Lebanon, N.H. Their store is an independent retailer where the couple sell Sears merchandise for a commission.

    “We’re the little guy. We’re local. We support 10 jobs here trying to support 10 families. When you shop here, those dollars go back into the community,” he said.

    He said the event will also give him a chance to let the public know about the services the store offers. Being a Sears retailer, he said, the store can schedule free consultations for those looking for installation of windows, siding, doors, flooring, roofing, kitchens, countertops and bathrooms. He said the store can then reach out to local contractors to do the work.

    Coulter said that when he and his wife took over the store last year from Lou and Candace Lacroix it was a “baptism by fire.” He said what made it difficult was it was the beginning of the lawn and garden season.

    “It was absolutely nuts. It was like a fire drill every day,” he said.

    Now he and his wife are better prepared for what the year will bring, having already handled all four seasons.

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