A little more than a year after Boot Barn closed its doors, 158 N. Third St. is getting another tenant.
Lindsey Hartman and her husband, Scott, recently bought the Sears Hometown, 412 S. Second St. But a few days after the purchase, they discovered the current location was sold to a different buyer.
“We were freaking out a little bit,” Lindsey Hartman said. “But we started looking at Google for locations downtown, and this one kept popping up.”
When they first contacted the building’s owner, she said the lease agreement was beyond the couple’s budget capacity.
With or without a new location, the clock was ticking down.
“As the day went on, our options were getting smaller and smaller and smaller,” Lindsey Hartman said. “So, I finally said, ‘OK, this is our Hail Mary pass,’ and I called the (Boot Barn building agent). I told him we could afford half (the asking price).”
The agent contacted the building owner, who listened to the Hartmans’ story and decided to take the offer, she said.
“They came out that afternoon and gave us the keys, and the rest is kind of history,” Lindsey Hartman said. “I think, honestly, (the owner) just knew Sears could do well here, and he believed in us a little bit. To be perfectly honest, since the story has begun, that is what it’s been — being lucky enough for someone to believe in you for even a moment.”
The Hartmans are no strangers to the Sears Hometown store, and previously, Lindsey Hartman was the general manager. Now, as owners, she said she’d like to make the community the store’s focus.
“We’ll be operating more like a mom-and-pop store,” Lindsey Hartman said. “We don’t want anything to do with the corporate structure.”
The new location isn’t quite twice as roomy, with 13,000 square feet rather than the previous location’s 8,000 square feet, but it’s still a considerable upgrade, Scott Hartman said.
“The showroom is quite impressive,” he added.
The Hartmans saved a considerable amount on renovations by doing the work themselves, Scott Hartman explained.
“We’ll get a new sign up shortly,” he said. “But we don’t have a lot of plans for a new façade yet.”
In addition to the appliances the store currently stocks, Lindsey Hartman said they planned to add camping equipment and mattresses to their inventory.
“I love the outdoors, so I’m happy we’ll get to sell camping gear,” she said. “And we’ll have patio furniture, which can be hard to buy in Laramie.”
While the operation will be locally owned, some corporate offerings will still play a role in the business, such as a leasing program, Lindsey Hartman said.
“Sears has changed a little bit,” she added. “They are more online oriented now.”
Go to www.searshometownstores.com for more information about how the company has changed in recent years.
Scott Hartman said the new location still needs a bit of work, but a grand opening is slated for April 28.
“We’re going to do a cookout and introduce ourselves,” Lindsey Hartman said. “Our big goal is be a part of the community and show them we’re here to stay.”
Call 742-9303 for more information about Sears Hometown in Laramie.