Though Sears is struggling, that doesn’t mean everything with a Sears name is in trouble.
Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based Sears Holdings Corp. last week filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will be closing another 142 Sears and Kmart stores by year-end, on top of 46 stores already slated to be shuttered.
But the Sears name applies to more than just the department stores.
Sears Home & Business Franchises is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears so it is part of the company’s bankruptcy filing, but on a day-to-day basis the Columbus-based business operates separately with its own leaders, offices, IT, accounting, marketing, sales, etc.
“Given that we have the same name, there’s some consumer confusion,” said President Jeff Pepperney. “The services we provide aren’t being interrupted one bit. We’re freestanding from Sears.”
“People buy businesses from us because they’re leveraging that name, Sears. It drives consumer trust and commitment,” Pepperney said. “But we are family-owned businesses. Those families aren’t changing. They’re still out there, providing service.”
The 50-person corporate staff of Sears Home & Business Franchises has been based in the Polaris area since it was created 20 years ago and now oversees a franchise network of 140 franchisees overseeing 400 territories in the U.S.
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