Business

Fayetteville family reacts to Sears closing

Posted January 24, 2019 6:15 p.m. EST
Updated January 24, 2019 6:48 p.m. EST

— So many people grew up shopping at Sears.

The store sold back-to-school clothes, lawnmowers and just about everything. However, in recent months, one store after another shut has its doors after the retail giant declared bankruptcy. Two weeks ago, the store in Fayetteville's Cross Creek Mall closed. To at least one family, it meant a lot.

"It is tough because you had so many memories wrapped around that place," said Bryan Miranda, now a father to three who remembers going to that Sears as a boy. "It had a candy store!"

The lights are still on at the Fayetteville Sears, but the floor is bare.

Miranda started working there in 1967, and he worked there for six years. He said was inspired by his dad, Ray Miranda, who also worked at Sears, and the other employees he came to know throughout his childhood.

"It was really, truly a family," said Bryan Miranda. "Everybody knew everybody. Everybody cared for each other. I got to watch the people who worked for him. They became my aunts and my uncles. I grew up in that store."

Bryan remembers how his dad and the other Sears employees could once talk about Sears products as if describing a family heirloom.

"You breathed with them when they told you about a washing machine. You waited to hear what that TV could do next," said Miranda who, now 48, laments the loss of the "know how" and the "know you by name" customer service as brick-and-mortar fades to point-and-click.

"If you go to a retail environment now, you walk in, you already know what you want," he said. "You've Googled it, you've looked at the reviews."

Ray Miranda worked in the store until 1988, when he started selling insurance for Allstate -- which was part of Sears before it spun off in the 90s. Now Bryan Miranda is now in the insurance business himself.

"I have a business today and run it like a family because of what I learned at Sears," he said.

In addition to the Cross Creek Mall location, Sears will close its stores in Durham by late March, leaving the Triangle with just one traditional Sears department store.