Sears in Southgate Mall will close in June, however, Sears Hometown Stores hope to open a location in Missoula by July 4. 

KGVO News spoke with Regional Development Manager for Sears Hometown Stores, Gerald Huston about the concept for a smaller, more personal shopping experience featuring Sears products and services.

"We have over 900 Sears Hometown Stores across the United States," Huston said. "Ordinarily, we look for stores to open in rural areas, however, in a situation like this where a Sears store is closing in a mall, we go back into the market and either open a Sears Hometown Store, or even a store-within-a-store."

Huston said a Sears Hometown Store differs from a traditional mall store.

"The Sears Hometown Store is much smaller and is privately owned," he said. "The owner is a member of the community, belongs to the Chamber of Commerce and is involved with the community.The store will carry all the tip appliances like Kenmore, it will have lawn and garden with Craftsman tools and equipment. The typical store will be about 7,000 square feet and will have a kiosk within the store where people can order from Sears online, as well."

Huston said Sears Hometown is actively looking for entrepreneurs who want to invest in their own business.

"It's not a franchise and there are no royalties," he said. "The stores are locally owned, but we will handle all the advertising. The Southgate Mall store will be closing in June, but we hope to have a Sears Hometown Store opening in Missoula no later than the 4th of July."

Huston said anyone interested in investing and opening their own Sears Hometown Store can contact his office at 816-674-3833, or visit the Sears Hometown Store website.