Sears' Amherst store is closed

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Company seeking new operator for store

Customers arriving at Sears in Amherst got a surprise Friday morning in the form of a closed sign. The franchisee said he is ending his relationship with the company.

Customers arriving at Sears in Amherst got a surprise Friday morning in the form of a closed sign. The franchisee said he is ending his relationship with the company.

UPDATE: 1:25 p.m.

AMHERST – Just a week after acquiring a new major tenant, the Amherst Centre has lost another one.

Customers arriving to the Sears store in the mall were surprised to see a closed sign on the door and a note telling them to call a toll-free number.

It’s unknown why the store closed, but franchisee Ned Douglas left a message on Facebook earlier in the day saying he and his wife, Kathy, have decided to part ways with Sears Canada.

“The store is now closed and I’m not sure of its future, but it’s time to move on for us,” Douglas said in his post. “It’s been a fun few years and we thank our customers for all the support.”

Douglas was not available for further comment on Friday morning, but customers coming to the store were disappointed to find the store closed.

“That’s too bad, I really enjoyed shopping there and Ned was a great guy to deal with,” said one customer who did not want to give his name. “Hopefully they find someone to take it over.”

Vincent Power of Sears Canada said the company is aware of the Amherst closure.

“We are definitely seeking an owner who can operate the store,” Power said. “Amherst has always been a good market for us even going back to the early catalog-only days and we look forward to resuming our hometown store operations there.”

Power said a notice was posted on the store’s door so customers who had ordered parcels either online or through the catalog would know the company is working to reroute their parcels to them.

“We have many loyal customers in Amherst and the surrounding area and look forward to resuming our operation there soon,” Power said.

Power said hometown stores are owned and operated by local business people who run the Sears marketing program so the company can bring major appliances, outdoor power equipment, mattresses and electronics to smaller communities where putting a full-line department store is not possible.

Sears has been located in Amherst for many years. It was formerly located in the old Cumberland Mall and moved to a new location in the Amherst Centre when the mall went through a major expansion more than a decade ago.

Last week Giant Tiger moved into a new 17,000 square-foot facility that took up part of the space vacated when Zellers left the mall after its Canadian operations were acquired by Target.

Sears Canada has been going through some tough times of late and a story in the Huffington Post last month suggested the company is considering selling its Canadian operations.

Since January, the company has announced plans to cut 2,200 employees on top of the several thousand it cut last year.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Amherst Centre, Sears Canada, Giant Tiger Target Huffington Post

Geographic location: Amherst

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Recent comments

  • Long ago customer
    June 23, 2014 - 22:29

    Laurel, Perhaps you could try calling Moncton or Sackville. I had to go to Moncton to return a large damaged item because I was told I could not return it to Amherst - even though I picked it up there......too bad for me.....I had ordered it online...the only customers they seemed to help were the ones who purchased in their store. Anyway, Moncton was quite helpful to me and they seemed to be aware of the low level of customer service that Amherst was providing. I think they heard it as a pretty common complaint. You could always give them a call and ask for a manager and explain your situation.....it could be worth a try. Good luck, I know how frustrating it is when you are left out to dry. I hope you get some resolution.

  • Laurel Carter
    June 20, 2014 - 12:39

    I still have no resolution to my problem,When you call head office i'm talking to someone in Malaysia.I know this as I asked.Can't even talk to someone in Canada.I got a call 3 days ago said they would order me a new fridge,just got a call said they can't do it.Was Also told on Monday the store was open for sure.I've been to Amherst 3 times now still not opened.So here I still sit with a fridge that has never worked and they won't even order me another one,or even attempt to give me my money back.So because of the actions of Ned and his wife all their customers have to pay the price. I'm beside myself Don't know what else to do.Tired of being lied to and passed off to the next person.I even called Truro and New Glasgow.Nothing.

  • Barb Jeffers
    June 20, 2014 - 10:20

    I worked for Ned & Kathy for 13 years until health problems occurred where I had to retire early---can't say enough GOOD things about the couple---they were in the store 6 days a week & were good to their customers & to the staff!!!! Good luck Ned & Kathy in your new adventures!!!!

  • Laurel Carter
    June 16, 2014 - 14:49

    I have a fridge sitting in the middle of my kitchen that hasn't worked since delivered last Tues.When Sears was called on Wed I was told he could send a repair man.Don't think so.So since Ned and wife have walked away from Sears which must of been their plan since they seem to both have new jobs according to his facebook page.The customers have to pay,I have been talking to customer service and can't even get the fridge picked up or my money back,2 days on the phone and no farther ahead.

  • Former customer#3
    June 14, 2014 - 12:38

    I think a new owner with people skills will see this business go places for sure.Many people will return to the store.

  • Amherst Fella
    June 14, 2014 - 09:46

    Mr Chow, I hear Beijing and it's smog is beautiful this time of year, maybe you should look at moving back to your native land if you don't like it here, that's is if you are even an Asian or just hiding behind a name!

  • Jim C
    June 14, 2014 - 09:14

    Sorry to hear the store is closing down. Ned was a great owner and a great person to deal with. I'm sure he will rebound with a another business. His staff was also courteous.

  • HDR
    June 14, 2014 - 04:43

    Sears is extremely overpriced. With prepaid credit cards, Paypal via bank account everyone can shop online. Personally I'm not going to spend more money just to support a local franchise of an outdated store. I can shop online from the middle of nowhere and still save money, plus get the item delivered to my door without paying the high delivery Sears charges.

  • Long ago customer
    June 13, 2014 - 22:47

    I believe that customer service still means something...... I will not miss the Amherst store as I went to the Sackville and Moncton Sears as their customer service was leaps and bounds above what I experienced in Amherst (downright rudeness and an ignorant attitude). Just have your catalogue orders delivered to Sackville NB & pick them up there! The lady who works there is a doll and great to deal with. I have been doing that for years!

  • Mr. Chow
    June 13, 2014 - 20:14

    Ok so this is another company that is gone.....how many more companies are done in Amherst till the town is done.

    • John
      June 13, 2014 - 20:50

      where does it say the company is gone?? it does however say “We are definitely seeking an owner who can operate the store,” Power said. “Amherst has always been a good market for us even going back to the early catalog-only days and we look forward to resuming our hometown store operations there.” why are some people always so negative??

    • HDR
      June 14, 2014 - 04:48

      The population of Amherst has stayed the same since the early 1880s. Businesses come and go. It's a town of less than 10,000 in which less than half the population works. The surrounding areas aren't that populous either. Business owners don't choose Amherst because Moncton is a larger centre, growing, and has a good central location.

  • Rob
    June 13, 2014 - 18:33

    Oh that darn Skabar!......wait a minute.....

  • Former customer
    June 13, 2014 - 14:47

    Unfortunate for the town. I was a longtime loyal customer. Perhaps recent problems within Sears has had a ripple effect since my recent experience there was met with negativity. When that happens, it is definitely time to move on.

  • Former customer
    June 13, 2014 - 14:46

    Unfortunate for the town. I was a longtime loyal customer. Perhaps recent problems within Sears has had a ripple effect since my recent experience there was met with negativity, rudeness and an "I don't care" attitude from both owners right down to they loading guy! When that happens, it is definitely time to move on.

    • Former customer #2
      June 14, 2014 - 08:29

      I totally know all about the rudeness, negativity and the "I don't care" attitude. I experienced the same many years ago... and have not nor will not set foot in that store since until a new owner, operator is found. This previous owner just had NO people skills. The last experience just a few weeks ago happened when a family member was asked to pick up a large item for another family member... when he encountered the owner not even opening the door for him and watched him struggle to get the item loaded by himself on a truck. These type of actions are not what makes a business successful.