Sears Outlet Receives Customer Engagement Award for Interactive In-Store Campaign

Industry Publication Recognizes Sears Outlet for Its Educational and Engaging, Hybrid Shopping Experience

Hoffman Estates, Illinois, UNITED STATES

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Jan. 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As the popularity of online shopping increases, more and more retailers are focusing their efforts on the digital experience, instead of the in-store retail. Rather than joining these retailers, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq:SHOS) has created a campaign that integrates both online and in-store shopping as one. Only a few months since the campaign's inception, the company has just received a Customer Engagement Award from online publication, Retail TouchPoints, in the category of Interactive In-Store Campaigns for its Sears Outlet campaign, which combines the two platforms to create the ultimate interactive customer experience.

Consumers visiting the warehouse style Sears Outlet stores are presented with a large and ever-changing inventory of appliances, furniture, home and garden goods and much more, which are significantly lower than manufacturers' suggested retail prices. The retailer has created a seamless customer experience with strategically placed 23" touch-screen panel tablets throughout its pilot stores. Each tablet holds a platform, developed specifically for Sears Outlet by tech start-up eyeQ, where shoppers can research available products and make buying decisions at each screen. Product data is drawn directly from the Sears Outlet e-commerce store to create a consistent, omni-channel look and feel with up-to-date inventory allocation that pertains to the exact store in which they're shopping.

"We are exploring all opportunities to bridge the gap between in-store and online shopping to answer our customers' call for more information," stated JJ Ethridge, Vice President of Supply Chain, Technology, and Integrated Retail at Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores. "With this integrated campaign, customers don't need to go home for further research or to review customer feedback, it's all in the store with added live interaction with our sales associates. This award recognition, and initial success of our campaign, proves that in-store and online hybrid shopping is the future of retail."

To encourage shoppers to try the integrated shopping platform, sales associates invite customers to interact with the displays. There, they collaboratively join the shopper to explore the options, learn about products, and make a selection online to then touch and feel in-store. The use of the devices has increased engagement and closure rates, while giving the store an attractive, high-tech appeal.

"We're proud to honor 14 retail companies that have embraced customer engagement and implemented solutions and services that are delighting customers and boosting revenue," stated Debbie Hauss, Editor-in-Chief at Retail TouchPoints. "Each of this year's winners has taken the initiative to deliver a more satisfying level of service and improved experience to the demanding shopper base. We were thoroughly impressed with the compelling in-store experience Sears Outlet offers its customers."

Furthermore, the platform acts as a data collector for Sears Outlet, allowing the company to better tailor the shopping experience for its customers and continue providing the best customer experience. Data collection includes store foot traffic, approximate age and gender of the tablet shopper, and shopping history.

Each Sears Outlet store, on average, offers shoppers more than 18,000 square feet of retail space stocked with hundreds of items marked significantly lower than manufacturers' suggested retail prices. Each location provides customers in-store and online access to new, one-of-a-kind, out-of-carton, discontinued, used, reconditioned, overstocked, and cosmetically blemished products across a broad assortment of merchandise categories—including home appliances, lawn and garden equipment, apparel, mattresses, sporting goods and tools.

For more information about Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores, Inc., including Sears Outlet stores, please visit

About Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc.

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq:SHOS) is a national retailer primarily focused on selling home appliances, lawn and garden equipment, tools and hardware. As of November 3, 2013, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. and its dealers and franchisees operated 1,239 stores across all 50 states as well as in Puerto Rico and Bermuda.

In addition to merchandise, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. provide consumers with access to a full suite of services, including home delivery, installation and extended service contracts.

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. operates through two segments—the Sears Hometown and Hardware segment and the Sears Outlet segment. The Sears Hometown and Hardware segment's stores are designed to provide customers with in-store and online access to a wide selection of national brands of home appliances, lawn and garden equipment, tools, sporting goods and household goods, depending on the particular store. The Sears Outlet stores are designed to provide customers with in-store and online access to purchase new, one-of-a-kind, out-of-carton, discontinued, obsolete, used, reconditioned, overstocked and scratched and dented products across a broad assortment of merchandise categories, including home appliances, apparel, mattresses, sporting goods, tools and lawn and garden equipment at prices that are significantly lower than manufacturers' suggested list prices.

About eyeQ

Based in the tech hotbed of Austin, Texas, eyeQ, Inc. creates a unique hybrid in person/online experience for shoppers that give them what they have learned to love from e-commerce (ratings, reviews, suggested offerings) to help them decide and buy on the spot. eyeQinsights is an in-person responsive marketing system, learning about and responding to customers with the information and suggestions that are most helpful to them. eyeQ works with a wide range of retailers, from boutiques, to fast casual restaurants, to publicly traded retail leaders such as Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores.


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