Sears to open in Stamford
Sears to open in Stamford
By Peter Healy - Staff Writer - Stamford Advocate - 11/05/2008
Sears is returning to Stamford with the arrival of an appliance store scheduled to open in February or March at the High Ridge Center. It will occupy part of the space formerly occupied by Tower Records.

Sears leased 4,600 square feet on the ground floor at the northern end of the shopping center on High Ridge Road near the Merritt Parkway, said Norman Lotstein, a retail specialist with Pyramid Real Estate Group in Stamford and a partner in the center's ownership.

The store will sell washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, ovens and small appliances made by Sears and other manufacturers, Lotstein said, catering to a wide range of shoppers.

"They are going to be offering a full array of major home appliance brands, including the highly regarded Kenmore brand (of Sears)," Lotstein said. "It is a product line that appeals to every homeowner."

The Sears appliance store would join Stamford rivals such as Planet TV & Appliances at 900 High Ridge Road, County TV & Appliance at 2770 Summer St., and Associated Appliance & Service at 933 Hope St.

The current economy and local competition could present problems for Sears, said Craig Johnson, president of the retail consulting firm Customer Growth Partners of New Canaan.

"Major appliances is one of the areas where Sears has credibility, and they are playing to their strength. This is a challenging time for any retailer tied to the housing market," said Johnson, referring to people buying appliances for new or remodeled homes.

Officials at Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings Corp. could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Publicly traded Sears Holdings is the parent company of Kmart and Sears, Roebuck and Co. Hedge fund manager Edward Lampert, of Greenwich, is chairman and controlling stockholder of Sears Holdings.

Sears Holdings is the nation's fourth largest broadline retailer, with more than $50 billion in annual revenues and about 3,800 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada.

The Stamford store would end Sears' 12-year absence from the city. A 72,000-square-foot Sears location in Ridgeway Shopping Center closed in early 1996. That store sold appliances, hardware, electronics and automotive supplies and had been in the center for about 45 years.

Connecticut's Sears department stores are in Danbury, Milford, Waterbury, Meriden and several other towns, according to the company Web site.

In Westchester County, N.Y., a Sears department store is in White Plains, and a Sears home appliance showroom is in Mount Kisco.

The 90,000-square-foot High Ridge Center, owned by Samuel Lotstein Realty Co. of Stamford, is looking for retailers to fill the 13,000-square-foot second floor that Tower Records had occupied, Norman Lotstein said.

Tower Records opened a two-story, 19,500-square-foot store there in late 1999. It closed about two years ago, after the music retailer went bankrupt and shut down about 90 stores nationwide.

- Staff Writer Peter Healy can be reached at or 964-2276.