Our Hometown Celebration Rocked!


Last week I left you without saying anything about the actual Sears Hometown Celebration in Florida, and although I could fill up an entire book, I will summarize as best I can.

Tuesday night was the Five Star Awards Dinner. This is an awards dinner where store owners receive awards for standards and operations. Our store actually won a few times during this past year, which could have something to do with my $900.00 credit. It is during the awards dinner that quarterly winners for the regions are announced along with the annual winners.


We all knew who won the previous three quarters, but none of us knew who won the final. I didn’t expect to win anything as comp sales are weighted twice in the figuring and, although mine were not bad, I was only up maybe 2% for the year. With that being said, it was a great surprise to win the five star awards for our region for the fourth quarter and for the year. Plus, I have $500 credit already for next year’s hometown celebration, of course that is if we still own the store.


Also on the night was a drawing for a contest aptly called,”Sho Me The Money.” The store wins entries by being in the top three for comp sales improvement during the holiday period, and maintaining a certain level in some other operational categories. We were in second place in our district for the drawing, with Salem, the store we sold 2 years ago, in first place. Tim Major had worked for us in Salem since we originally bought the store. They weren’t sure if they were going to Orlando and I had called to tell them we were going. To win the prize money, you have to be at the celebration and I had told Tim that I felt the first year I didn’t go would be the year I won the money. He had joked that it wasn’t likely, but he said they had decided to go. Anyway, they won second place of $5000! What a wonderful surprise!


The convention always has an expo with vendor exhibitors. Many of the vendors have giveaway drawings at their booths. Whirlpool corporation had a drawing three times daily for prizes. You got entry tickets by visiting each of their displays and asking questions about dishwashers, refrigeration, cooking, laundry, well, you get the idea. I won a Thermos brand travel cup and a Kitchenaid Red blender and Jim won a Kitchenaid Red Immersion blender! Then later in the expo, Jim won a Craftsman Smartphone remote garage door controller! I had been wanting one of these ever since they came out! Also on the night, we were entertained by Henry Cho, comedian, and then Jim Gaffigan. Henry Cho had everyone laughing so hard that he pretty much overshadowed Jim, sorry Jim…


Tuesday morning to start the convention we were treated to an incredible performance by David Garibaldi as he created an upside down Albert Einstein and then another piece with SHOS, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores. He was followed by the Village People and everyone rocked!


Wednesday night the Whirlpool Corporation treated us to a night at Universal Studios where we had the run of half the park. I was fine riding the Mummy, but learned that I am either too old or too out of shape to ride the “Rock It Roller Coaster”. In addition, on another note to self, do not wear slide on shoes on a roller coaster. Trying to press my toes down, yes, I’m short, so my shoes don’t fall off as I’m getting whipped around and upside down…..Needless to say, I was not moving too well the next morning. Good thing I remembered to pack the SalonPas. Great food and beverages and great fun!


Thursday was more expo, more seminars, and then closing night, sponsored by Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard. We were treated to a concert by Styx that was amazing. I always find it funny how many of these younger people, I almost said kids, say, “Wow, I didn’t know that song was by them!”


There is always an attendance drawing, if you attend all the seminars and visit all the booths – the giveaways totaled over $100,000 this year. Although Jim and I didn’t win any of these bigger prizes, many of our friends did. Karen Major, from the Salem store, won an iPod. Another from our district won a front load laundry set; mind you, this is the luckiest couple living, as they seem to win something big every year.


Throughout the rest of the week, we went to seminars for Kenmore, LG, Samsung, Electrolux, GE and Whirlpool, Mattresses, Tractors, mowers, and spec power. We attended a special luncheon for Premier Dealers and received a beautiful business card holder as a “thank you” for being a Premier Dealer.

All in all, it was a great convention. Tremendous for networking, knowledge, and great fun. Thanks to all the vendors and to SHOS. If Jim and I still have the store next year, we will probably attend.