PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (WTOK) - Come February, Sears could have fewer than 500 open locations. The once profitable department store filed for bankruptcy in October, forcing closures of more than 200 stores, including Meridian. Bonita Lakes General Manager Renee Williams says news of the closing came as a surprise.
"I think it's a matter of what Sears is going through on a corporate level right now. As you know, they're going through chapter 11 bankruptcy so those are issues that are being worked out with Sears.- the bankruptcy proceedings and things like that, so it was a little bit of a shock and a disappointment to us when we received the news," says Williams.
Even though Sears Corporate locations are shutting down, Sears Hometown stores are up and running. In Philadelphia, Lee Gardner says his store is successful and is in no danger of closing.
"So no it's not going to have an effect on us in the immediate future. We're trying to weather the bad news storm and come out of the bad news storm and let people in the community know that we're here for them. We're going to be here for them," says Gardner.
Gardner says Sears Hometown is an independent company from Sears Corporate and has been a separate entity for six years.
"So that we don't have to be concerned with what goes on with corporate and their bankruptcy, because we're not included in that bankruptcy in any way."
Sears Hometown store in Philadelphia is open Monday through Sunday.