HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting today, Americans can begin voting to choose the most deserving U.S. military veteran to win their very own Sears Hometown Store. Edward Schrank from Rochelle, IL and David Wheatley of London, OH, are the final two candidates in "Operation Stores and Stripes" a program launched by the retailer earlier this year. Consumers can submit their vote for one of the military veterans on the Sears Hometown Stores Facebook page through Sept.15.
"After a long and challenging competition, we are down to the final two contestants," said Will Powell, president, Sears Hometown Stores. "We had so many strong candidates participate in this program over the last four months. We are extremely proud that one of these U.S. military veterans will be joining the Sears Hometown Stores family."
"Operation Stores and Stripes" was kicked off in May by Sears Hometown Stores and Maytag Brand Appliances. Qualified military veterans from across the country entered the contest online for the chance win their own Sears Hometown Store that includes not just the store location and license, but also merchandise, renovation, the first 90-days of the lease and 90-days of operating cash flow.
Entries to the contest included an in-depth online application followed by a screening process, until the candidates were narrowed down to 15 finalists. The next round, also known as the Ribbon Challenge, required contestants to submit assets such as photos or videos of themselves in uniform, letters of recommendation and proof of community service participation. Round three brought the top five contestants to Sears Holdings' corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates for face to face interviews with a panel of Sears Hometown Stores executives.
Now, the choice is up to Americans to choose their favorite candidate by voting on the Sears Hometown Store Facebook page in a poll located on the Causes tab. Information submitted by Schrank and Wheatley from the Ribbon Challenge will be available for voters to browse as well as a video clip telling America why they would like to be the hero that is Hometown bound. Once the voting period closes on Sept.15, the votes will be tallied to reveal the winning candidate who will go on to receive a Sears Hometown Store.
Sears Hometown Stores is a unique retailing concept that combines the value, selection and services associated with larger retail stores but is owned and operated by a member of the local community. Sears Hometown Stores provide exceptional customer service along with a wide assortment of tools, appliances, electronics, fitness equipment and lawn & garden merchandise offered by Sears Holdings' stores. This unique format allows customers in small communities to have access to the great products and brands usually only found in Sears stores.
About Sears Hometown Stores
Sears Hometown Stores were developed sixteen years ago to serve Sears customers in locations outside of major metropolitan cities. There are currently nearly 900 Hometown Stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. These stores carry all of the top home appliance brands, consumer electronics, tools and lawn and garden equipment. Sears Hometown Stores, LLC carry proprietary Sears' brands, such as Craftsman, Kenmore and DieHard, as well as a wide assortment of national brands. In addition, Sears Hometown Stores are locally owned and operated by dedicated, hard working individuals that take great pride in serving their communities and representing Sears nationwide. For more information, visit Sears Hometown Stores' website at www.searshometownstores.com.
About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation's fourth largest broadline retailer with approximately 3,900 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, consumer electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Sears Holdings is the 2010 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands' End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has the Country Living collection, which is offered by Sears and Kmart. We are the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 12 million service calls made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. For more information, visit Sears Holdings' website at www.searsholdings.com
About Maytag Brand
For more than a century, Maytag brand appliances have been synonymous with dependability and durability. Through the commitment of Whirlpool Corporation, Maytag brand's enduring tradition of quality production and performance continues to thrive. Exceptionally durable, commercial-grade components are found in many Maytag brand appliances – including Maytag® Performance Series front-load and Maytag® Bravos® top-load washers and dryers. Maytag brand is part of the Whirlpool Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $17 billion in 2009, 67,000 employees, and 67 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. For more information on any Maytag brand appliance, visit http://www.maytag.com.
SOURCE Sears Holdings Corporation