MARSHALL - Changes are already taking place at the Sears store in the Market Street Mall and the first one was a change in ownership.
Mike and Wanda Schull took over the Sears store at the beginning of July and Mike Schull has been putting in a lot of hours to spruce up the store and make it easier for customers to find what they want.
"We've already interviewed and hired additional staff," Schull said. They will learn the ropes from veteran staff like Eric Novosad, who started in January 2000, and Al Bossuyt, who's been a fixture for more than 10 years.
Photo by Jodelle Greiner
Mike Schull, right, the new owner of the Sears store in Marshall, discusses a riding mower with Eric Novosad, manager.
"Even though it's been purchased and you have a new owner, you still have that continuity," Schull said.
Painting the interior of the store, and new trimming and flooring have been done.
"We did move the product around to allow the store to flow better," Schull said.
He plans to purchase solutions stations which will feature computers "to help the customer find the best product that fits them."
"If a customer can't find what they want in the store, in many cases, we can order it and have it shipped to their house in two-four days without a shipping fee," Schull said of the Store to Web promotion.
Of course, there's still the Sears price match, where they will meet a competitor's price and go 10 percent below the difference. They are the only store to carry the top eight brands of appliances, Schull said.
"We're the only ones who can carry Kenmore," Schull said. And they carry Serta mattresses.
Schull, who lives in Spicer, learned about getting things done during his 21 years in the United States Air Force.
When he got out, he was the general manager of Concrete Products in New London for six years. Then he bought the Sears store in Willmar a year and a half ago.
"Sears to me means quality," Schull said. "I spent over 20 years providing service to our country and I'm very proud of that. I wanted to be proud of what I did after I got out of the military and I'm extremely proud to own a Sears store."
But it's a lot of work.
"I was a new owner and had a lot to learn and a lot to do," he said, including a major move to a different location. "Now the store is doing well."
And opportunity knocked again.
"The regional manager asked if I would consider purchasing the Marshall store and giving it a face lift, training associates and ensuring an outstanding shopping experience for customers," Schull said.