WELCOME TO SEARS ORANGE, TX
Greater Orange Business Journal • October 2011 | 17 ENTREPRENEUR by shelly Vitanza contributing writer: It’s a statement that gives pause to most Texans, especially if they haven’t been to Russell Dillow’s Sears Hometown Store in Orange. In the 6,000-square-foot showroom, Dillow, a Sears independent dealer/owner since summer 2010, offers a full-line of Sears products, service policies and guarantees, the best price, better parking and friendlier service.“We offer all the products you can purchase through Sears,” said Dillow. “You can’t buy anything in Port Arthur or Beaumont that you can’t buy here; you’re going to park closer to the door, be greeted by friendly, knowledgeable people and get the best price of anywhere.”
Sears Hometown Stores allow qualified individuals to become business owners. Similar to a franchise but without the requirements to pay franchising fees or royalties, the Sears Hometown Stores program supports entrepreneurs through the financing, site location, leasing or construction negotiations and ongoing business operations with inventory and training. There are 900 Sears Hometown Stores in the United States. Dillow learned about the opportunity to purchase the 2264 McArthur Drive strip-center location while living and working in Houston and saw it as a chance not only to be a business owner but to also come home.
Dillow, who went to Nederland High School, spent 32 years in the petrochemical industry, initially with Gulf Oil Corporation, which became Chevron and then Chevron Phillips. In 2000, he was transferred to Houston, where he was the superintendent at the plastics complex of the operation. “I spent nine years trying to figure out how to come back home,” said Dillow, who with his wife, Mary, lived and raised their children in Bridge City. “Then last year we decided to make a break and come home and do something different in life. It was bold, daring, and we’ll find out if it’s a wise move or not.” All indicators point to success.