Sears appliance store, Apparel Express shop to open in Madras


by: Photo By Susan Matheny - Future home of Sears appliance store, Apparel Express.

   A Sears appliance store and Apparel Express shop will be coming to the former Factory 2-U building in Madras, once renovations are complete.
   Powell Butte residents Heidi Troutman and her mother Dory Crowell are combining efforts to open the two stores, with Troutman running the apparel store and Crowell the Sears store.
   Troutman, who has worked in the retail business for 15 years, said she and her husband Ron operate a Sears store in Prineville, and have many Madras friends who kept telling them Madras needed a Sears store.
   "Some of our good friends told us about the empty (Factory 2-U) building. We called about it, looked at the location and liked it and said `We can make this work,'" Troutman said.
   "We contacted Sears and they did market research and found it to be a desirable location for a store," she said, noting they would be a locally-owned authorized dealer, with Sears supplying the inventory.
   The appliance store will carry refrigerators, ranges, TVs and other electronics, microwaves, washers and dryers and lawn and garden items, and some household items like dishes and pillows. The store will also be able to handle the servicing of Sears appliances.
   Apparel Express will feature clothing for the family, with men's, women's, kids', junior's and plus sizes. Eventually, they would like to add a shoe department.
   "It will be brand-name clothing for less. We'll make better buys where we can offer the clothing at a discount. It will be competitive with Wal-Mart prices," Troutman said.
   She noted they recently took a trip to New York to do all the buying for the clothing store and the merchandise is sitting in her garage waiting for the shop to open.
   Currently, the 10,000-square-foot building is being remodeled with a dividing wall to give each store 4,000 square feet, plus room for an office and storage.
   The store front and inside are being totally repainted, carpet is being installed in the apparel shop, and a freight door is being put in.
   "Once the remodeling is complete, it will go really fast. We hope to have the clothing store open in three to four weeks and the Sears store open in August," Troutman said.