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National retailer using Bellingham store for its new concept

Check out the new Sears Hometown Store in Bellingham

Sears Hometown Store manager Clinton Branum talks about the new furniture the store is selling in Bellingham.
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Sears Hometown Store manager Clinton Branum talks about the new furniture the store is selling in Bellingham.

It has been a difficult time for traditional “brick-and-mortar” retailers, but one company is expanding its product lines into its Bellingham store.

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores has changed its format in what officials hope will be a prototype for the rest of its 1,160 stores. The Bellingham store at 3548 Meridian St. is now offering Ashley Furniture products and a larger mattress selection to go with its appliances and tools. It is also adding staff.

It will have a grand reopening celebration Jan. 27-28 with door prizes and gift bags, as well as product and service demonstrations.

Sears Hometown is a separate company from the traditional Sears department store, having spun off Sears Holdings in October 2012. The focus of Sears Hometown is to stick with the products that put Sears on the map, the brand name tools, appliances and lawn equipment such as Kenmore, DieHard and Craftsman, said Jim Dignam, district manager for Washington and Alaska.

The product expansion comes as several national retailers have announced store closures this month. Those closures have not, so far, impacted Whatcom County.

Dignam said sales numbers at the Bellingham location are exceeding expectations, and its research indicated the local store, along with two others in the U.S., would be a good place to test the new concept. The Bellingham store will also have a touch-screen kiosk where customers can work with a salesperson or browse product options on their own.

Staying in place is the store’s services, such as carpet, upholstery, hardwood and tile cleaning. It also has a kitchen tune-up service that includes cabinet refacing and full kitchen remodels.

For details about the store, visit searshometownstores.com.

NEW BAR OPENS IN FAIRHAVEN

Galloway’s Cocktail Bar recently opened in Fairhaven, offering residents and hotel guests a late-evening hangout option.

The bar is at 1200 10th St., Suite 102, in the former Daphne’s space in the Fairhaven Village Inn building. The owners of the bar, Gene and Connie Shannon, also own the 22-room inn. The bar is named after an Iowa couple who had been frequent guests of the inn before moving to the area.

“Gregg and Carla Galloway really represent both locals and visitors,” Connie Shannon said in a news release. “Folks who live here enjoy the cozy size and atmosphere of a bar that is slightly larger than a postage stamp.”

The deco-style bar’s capacity is about 30 people and will have a deep wine and beer selection to go with 12 craft cocktails. Allison Sutherland is the manager of Galloway’s – the bar will be open daily from 3 p.m. until at least 10 p.m.

A grand opening celebration is planned for Jan. 27-29. For details about the bar, visit gallowayscocktail.bar or call 360-756-2795.

NEW APPLE VARIETY AT BELLEWOOD

BelleWood Acres is introducing a new apple variety for customers later this month.

The apple is called Crimson Delight. It is harvested late in the season and has a tartness that is balanced by sweetness and noticeable apple freckles, said Dorie Belisle in a news release.

The apple will debut at BelleWood, the two Bellingham Community Food Co-op stores and the five local Haggen stores. Tastings will be available noon to 4 p.m. at the co-op stores on Jan. 27 and 1-5 p.m. at the Haggen stores on Jan. 28.

OTHER TIDBITS

Chuckanut Brewery tapped a new beer last week, releasing its Chuckanut Doppelbock, a lager beer that has chocolate, toffee and dried stone fruit flavors. It is available at its Bellingham and Burlington breweries. ... Lynden Lube & Auto is nearing completion of its new, bigger facility. The new shop at 8181 Guide Meridian will have nine bays compared to the three it currently has, allowing the company to expand its repair and maintenance services. Details about the company can be found at lyndenlube.com. ... The Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites near the Bellingham International Airport is planning a March 1 opening, said Randi Axelsson, director of sales and marketing at the hotel.

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