It was a sad day last January when Sears closed. The department store had been a local institution since 1935 and a Lewiston Mall staple since the late 1970s.

And then, poof. The Twin Cities were left with a giant Sears-shaped hole.

Shopping Siren wept bitterly.

Until now.

Hello, mini-Sears!

Granted, the new Sears Hometown Store isn’t as big as the old one. It doesn’t carry clothes, shoes or jewelry. And it isn’t in Lewiston.

Oh, but it’s Sears in all the ways that count. Think Craftsman and Kenmore! Vacuums and appliances! Tools and lawn care implements! Mattresses! (OK, that last one’s a little odd.)

And it’s close enough — in the Shaw’s Plaza in Auburn — to be firmly in L-A. Just more A than L.

So welcome back, Sears. It’s good to see you again!

And let me just say, mini versions are cuter anyway.

* Magna Cart, $29.99

I assume the name is a riff on the 13th-century Magna Carta, the English precursor to constitutional law. Which makes complete and total sense for a 21st-century folding handcart that can hold up to 150 pounds. Or doesn’t make any sense at all. One of those.

* Craftsman CanOBD2 Diagnostic Tool, $99.99

Cut out the middleman and connect this doohickey to your car to find out, all by yourself, why an alarmingly red icon has suddenly appeared on your dashboard. You’ll probably still need a mechanic to fix the reason behind that alarmingly red icon, but this will tell you whether you need to panic in the meantime.

(Note: The CanOBD2 should not to be confused with R2D2, who is not sold in Sears.)

* Black and Decker 9.6-volt cordless drill, $29.99

For drilling holes and screwing in screws. At home. I think Sears will get testy if you use it there.

* Fresh Solutions pet carpet wipes, 30-count, $5.99

Find a pet stain on your carpet. Wipe it. Go out for ice cream to celebrate the stain’s disappearance. Repeat that last step all summer.

* Kenmore four-burner stainless steel gas grill, $299.99

Yo, dawgs, Kenmore is in the house! OK, technically, it’s outside the house, or should be. But still. Great looking grill, just in time for Memorial Day, Father’s Day and summer. Hot dawg.

* Suncast deck box, $159.99

Extra-large, brown deck storage box that both looks attractive and touts a “resin wicker weave.” Finally. Much like a white blouse, I can never find a resin wicker weave when I need one. 

* Loggerhead 8-inch bionic wrench, $24.99

Adjustable circular wrench that grips the bolt tight and won’t slip off when you twist. That thing you never knew you needed until you needed it? Is this.  

Best find: Craftsman bottle opener, $7.99

The head is a bottle opener, the handle is a screwdriver with “Craftsman” etched along the side. Show your Craftsman loyalty with every drink. 

Think twice: About leaving us again, Sears!

We missed you.

Hello, good bye

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you Percy’s Burrow has closed in the Auburn Mall. The bookstore/toy store/gift shop will continue in Topsham, though.

“Our new store is gorgeous (although cluttered at the moment). Would love for you to check it out if you come that way,” wrote owner Laurie St. Pierre in an email a few weeks ago. “The one thing I can say is that people can check out our website to see what is available. Some items are in stock, other stuff we will have to order, but we are willing to deliver to the Auburn/Lewiston area if need be.”

A mini-Burrow would be adorable. Just a thought.

Shopping Siren’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who want a mini-me of their own)  and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at [email protected]

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