PHOENIXVILLE - Sears Hardware Store, 700 Nutt Road, celebrated its fourth anniversary in the Phoenixville Plaza Thursday, and is giving its customers a chance to win two great prizes.

According to Jim Lafreeda, store manager, during the next four days (Thursday through Sunday) customers can register to win either a Companion Charcoal Grill or Companion 90-Piece Tool Set.

"We're having this during the next four days to coincide with our fourth anniversary," said Lafreeda. "Customers can come in anytime during these four days and sign up to win either prize. This will take us into our big Father's Day weekend sale.

"The winners will be drawn on Monday morning, June 21, and you don't have to be present to win. We'll notify the winners via the telephone number they've provided us."

Since arriving at the store in August of 2002, Lafreeda said the biggest change has been the influx of Kenmore appliances that've arrived at the store.

"We began receiving a full line of appliances such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and ovens in the beginning of 2003," he said. "They've been selling well, and we'll match any competitors' price plus ten percent."

Two employees that've been with the store during the last four years are cashier Ann Strzelecki and nursery employee Barry Griffin.

Strzelecki said she's been around since Day One, and enjoys her job at Sears.

"I've seen a lot of them come and go here," she said. "I like waiting on our customers and helping with their needs."

Strzelecki said the customers really like the flowers that Sears has to offer.

"Our nursery section has really taken off," she said. "It's been around since the beginning as well."

Griffin said he's been around so long that he helped put the store together.

"I came to work here part-time and have been here ever since," said Griffin. "I've seen a lot more people shop here - they seem to like what we have."

Having started in lawn & garden and moving over to nursery, Griffin said he spends a majority of his time taking care of the flowers and plants.

"Whether I'm helping our customers solve their problems with their plants, we're setting up displays," he said. "We have a great crew in the nursery."

Lafreeda said in the near future, Sears will be adding some new lines of merchandise at his location.

"We're looking to bring in some new products in, and Sears will be testing the market in our area," he said. "This is due to public demand and requests made by our customers."

The one thing Lafreeda said he's proud of is the community involvement his store participates in.

"We do a lot with the fire departments, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and many others. We also sponsor a Babe Ruth team," said Lafreeda. "We want to be a part of this community for years to come."

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