Many answered prayers and his faith in God were two of the biggest reasons Tom McChesney decided to open a new Sears Hometown Store in Woodlawn. But trending growth in Carroll County also helped back up his decision to move his business from Galax and open the new store at 30 Partridge Road.
“Exit 19 was an important factor for us. The (Wildwood) development going on at Exit 19 and the last census data indicates growth in Carroll County as substantial,” said McChesney, who owns the new store along with his wife Tonya in a partnership with Glenn Dixon. “And in our business trends, our numbers are going that way, so we wanted to be part of that growth. That is where the prayers came in.”
The new Sears Hometown Store opened two weeks prior to Friday’s ribbon cutting and grand-opening celebration. Speaking to a collective audience of customers, employees and officials from Carroll County and the Town of Hillsville, McChesney talked about how much his faith factored into the decision, along with the help of many from all over the Twin Counties.
“I want to say thank you to Carroll County. We are excited about it and we’re excited about working with the Dixon family,” McChesney said. “Our faith in God…this is all built on faith. If not for a lot of prayers answered, we would not be here. I also want to thank the citizens of the area. They are fantastic – from Hillsville, Woodlawn, Galax, Grayson, Independence and North Carolina, all of them. We wanted to grow and we have a lot of cement here. We’ve built a solid foundation. This is our home and we hope Carroll County is excited about it, too.”
McChesney talked about what a wonderful location he has for the new Sears Hometown Store on Route 58, very close to Interstate 77.
“It’s a good location for us. We wanted to be here in the forefront of (U.S.) 58 and (Interstate) 77,” he said. “And there are new businesses coming. There is an urgent care going across the road from us in December, and others in the works as well. Also, the new Jeff Johnson RV dealership is opening, so we’re excited to be a part of it. Even our customers in Galax are excited. It’s only a seven-minute difference (from the previous store).”
McChesney explained that the Sears Hometown Store in Woodlawn is a new concept Sears store. When you hear about a store closing in Lynchburg or Martinsville, it’s not a bad thing, he said, it just means more of the new format stores are opening in other locations.
“I’ve been with the company for 27 years and this is their future,” McChesney said. “They have their own listing on the New York Stock Exchange. We have expanded tools and mattresses. We have a very large inventory here.”
Before officially cutting the ribbon, both he and Dixon led those gathered in prayer. After the prayer, local and area officials thanked McChesney and Dixon for bringing the new store to Woodlawn.
Carroll County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sam Dickson said the county was real pleased to have the new Sears store in the county. He called it a “great thing.” Hillsville Mayor Greg Crowder said even though the new Sears is just a little bit outside of town limits, Hillsville is still glad to have the new business so close. Crowder said he was “real impressed” with the new facility and the commitment the owners put into it. Area Delegate Annie B. Crockett-Stark added she is always happy to have new jobs coming to her district. Hillsville Town Councilman David Young also expressed his amazement with the new business and its leadership.
Above and beyond what his previous Sears offered in Galax, McChesney said the Woodlawn location has 600 more tools than before, including many more individual tools. With Craftsman Tools featuring a lifetime warranty, the bigger inventory allows him to switch out tools on the spot. Mattresses are on display in the corner of the store, including the Sealy brand, something the previous store didn’t offer.
Another valuable feature for customers is the ability to ship sears.com items for free. If it’s not in the store, anything that sears.com carries can be shipped directly to your home for free, or to the home of a friend or relative for free, helping save postage on Christmas and birthday gifts.
“There are millions of items on sears.com, whether it’s Lands’ End clothing, Sears’ clothing, tools, toys, or pots and pans. A lot of people don’t want to shop on the internet because they want to buy local, so this way they can shop through the local store and get free shipping,” McChesney said.
The new Sears Hometown Store is open from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12-6 p.m. on Sunday. The store can be reached by calling (276) 238-8600.