The newest store to hit Alhambra is actually a familiar name – Sears. Occupying a space that was once a furniture store, Sears Home Appliance and Mattresses sits adjacent to Costco and Target. The store had its soft open Monday, May 23 and a grand opening is set for Friday, June 3.
“This is a big plus for the area,” City Manager Julio Fuentes said. “The combination with Costco and Sears right next to each other is just great for business.”
The parking lot is packed with vehicles, but inside the Sears store are a handful of people. Most of the bodies are at Costco, but that doesn’t concern Arn Larkin, store manager.
“They do sell appliances, but not as many as we do. I don’t want to call them competition – we’re going to be feed off each other,” Larkin said. “I think we can be good neighbors.”
On the sales floor are a number of Sears’ employees, who introduce themselves more like friends than people trying to sell you a Kenmore refrigerator or microwave. Rows of washing machines and dryers with porthole windows stare out into the room. Names are exchanged with customers and refreshments are offered, a television plays a cartoon for children and Larkin says that cookies will be baking all day to give the store a homey atmosphere.
The last Sears in Alhambra closed in the early 1990s. This new Sears is a smaller store, aimed at providing mattresses and home appliances.
“We want to provide the local residents with a place for them to get their home appliances without having to drive all the way to a mall that’s out of the area,” Larkin said.