Sears moving from Galax to Carroll

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The retail store plans to relocate to a new building in Carroll this year.

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter


The idea to relocate the Sears store from Galax to U.S. 58 in Woodlawn came over a business chat between friends at a hometown football game, says owner Tom McChesney.
The local Sears store had weathered the economic downturn with a good business plan while McChesney watched similar businesses shut down across the country.
As he considered taking steps to cement the continuing success of his store, his friends Glen and Rhonda Dixon wanted to better promote their facility at the intersection of U.S. 58 and Partridge Road.
“They wanted to get more attention to Hill Top Centre,” McChesney explained.
As a result, they formed a partnership that will be mutually beneficial for their businesses.
Customers drive from places like Floyd, Cana, Laurel Fork, Meadows of Dan, Mount Airy, N.C., and even Marion to shop at Sears, McChesney said. A new 8,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, airy, glass-fronted store will be built on the new site in Woodlawn.
That’s an additional 500 square feet for the sales floor, he said. The associates like the idea because the entire store will be on the same level. It will have easy access from the road outside and a better layout inside, improving the shopping experience for the customer.
Considering how far people come to shop, the location near Interstate 77 will be more convenient for many, he said. And for Galax customers, the new location will be just another six minutes away.
“We do feel a lot of things are going on in that area...” McChesney said. “A lot of businesses want to be located close to interstates and we feel the same way.”
The Sears corporation has closed stores of its own, the closest in Statesville, N.C., and has been changing its focus to more of the hometown store concept.
McChesney’s location is considered a Sears “premier hometown store,” one of only 260 in the nation, because of its high customer service scores. He said the focus on customer service will continue at the new facility, anticipated to open in July or August.
“We’re making a major investment into the area,” McChesney said. “We’re making a commitment to the area that we’re here to stay.”
Activity surrounding industries that could locate at the Wildwood Commerce Park at Interstate 77’s Exit 19 also contributed to the decision to find a new place for the Sears store.
This will be the third location for the Sears store in the Twin Counties since it first opened here 14 years ago.
In Sears’ soon-to-be-former location in Galax, Matthew LaRaviere plans to put one of his five and dime stores and warehouse. As for the UPS Store in the Sears building, it will reopen in Willow Place shopping center next door with a larger and more modern facility, McChesney said.