Sears Hometown Store holds ribbon cutting for new owner

Published 12:31 pm Thursday, September 15, 2022


Jim Fortner’s career at Middlesboro’s Sears Hometown store has come full circle.

Email newsletter signup

Fortner, who originally started at the store behind the counter, cut the ribbon recently as the store’s new owner. On hand to help him commemorate the occasion were Bell County Chamber of Commerce Director Shelia Durham, as well as several other members of the community.

“I started out here behind the counter like everyone else, and worked hard, and now I suppose I own the store,” Fortner said.

Fortner’s speech was informative and light-hearted, and he took the time to speak about his personal time at Sears as well as the company.

“There are roughly 170 Sears Hometown stores around the country, and a lot of people think when Sears went out of business all of the Sears stores disappeared,” Fortner said. “But there are Sears Hometown Stores located in communities across the country and serving many areas, including Middlesboro.

“We are a locally owned and operated appliance store.”

The store sells all kinds of kitchen and home appliances, such as refrigerators and freezers, cooking appliances, washers and dryers, dishwashers, tools, hardware and lawncare equipment.

Fortner offered his pledge, and that of his staff, of providing customers with expertise and excellent customer service.

“Middlesboro Sears offers a personalized shopping experience tailored to our community,” he said. “And we’re close by, so remember to come out and see us.”

The ribbon cutting concluded with a small reception at the store.

The store is located at 2801 U.S. 25 E. in Middlesboro.