|Sears portfolio of service businesses represents an
extraordinary opportunity for the company to add value by extending Sears
relationship with America's families beyond the walls of its retail
Sears offers a whole houseful of services
Although Sears enjoys a leadership position, the company's $3
billion share of the fragmented $175 billion home services market is
small. As a result, Sears continues to pursue an aggressive growth
strategy that includes selective acquisitions, internal growth and unique
brand-based marketing to increase its scale and scope in this industry. In
1998, for example, Sears acquired two home improvement businesses:
Spray-Tech, the nation's fourth largest home remodeling contractor, and
Continental Carpet Cleaning, the company's largest carpet cleaning
licensee. Sears will continue to grow its existing businesses and enter
new businesses in order to deliver on its mission of caring for America's
Alternative channels to reach customers
Sears Direct is positioned to become the number one source for home-related products and services on the Internet. It offers customers the convenience of Internet information, comparison shopping and purchasing online, backed by the reassurance of buying from Sears. It benefits from Sears core strengths in merchandising, services, credit, brands and advertising in building long-term relationships with customers via non-store based channels.
In 1999, Sears will offer 2,000 appliances online utilizing the company's brand authority and nationwide fulfillment capability. This will be complemented by online sales assistance, repair assistance and scheduling, and an unsurpassed assortment of repair parts.
Since 1997, shoppers have been able to purchase 3,500 Craftsman tools online as well as log on to http://www.sears.com/ to learn more about Sears, its businesses, full-line store locations and promotional activity. During the 1998 holiday season, customers also could choose from more than 2,300 toys and gifts at http://www.wishbook.com/, the online counterpart to Sears Wish Book toy catalog.
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