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Sears.com Adds Major Appliance Selection

By Andy Wang E-Commerce Times ECT News Network
May 13, 1999 12:00 AM PT

Department store powerhouse Sears, Roebuck and Co. made a big push today to become the top retailer of appliances online. Today, Sears launched the largest selection of major appliances on the Internet at its Web site. Sears.com now sells more than 2,000 brand-name appliances, and the company says that is more than four times the size of the nearest online competitor.

Sears.com Adds Major Appliance Selection

Sears.com is the only Web site that has all of the top six best-selling appliance brands, including Kenmore, the top-selling brand that is exclusive to Sears. Other major brands that Sears.com carries include Amana, Frigidaire, GE, Maytag and Whirlpool. The appliances available on Sears.com include refrigerators and freezers, stoves, dishwashers, washers and dryers and microwaves.

"Electronic commerce is becoming a major factor in our business, providing an important channel of distribution for our current customer and for customers we don't yet serve,'' said Arthur C. Martinez, chairman and CEO of Sears.

How it Works

The distribution of appliances sold online will be taken care of by Sears' local stores. Sears has 850 department stores and 680 dealer stores that will serve as distribution channels.

After placing an online order, customers will receive e-mail with details about the first available home delivery date. Customers can pay for the appliances with their Sears card or a major credit card. Sears says appliances will typically be delivered within three to seven days. Customers will be able to reschedule deliveries if necessary. Delivery for online purchases will cost $35. Sears will also haul old appliances away for its customers or refer the customers to a service that will do so.

Online customers will also have access to repair services via Sears' HomeCentral service, which features 14,000 technicians who make more than 15 million product repair service calls each year.

Sears' E-Commerce Expansion

This is the second major e-commerce move Sears has made in the last two months. In April, Sears began offering more than 4.2 million appliance parts from 400 manufacturers. Sears also sells more than 3,500 Craftsman tools online. Sears has also sold toys and apparel online.

Shares of Sears were down 7-/16 to 50-11/16 in early trading today, but the stock has a good run since Sears' originally announced its e-commerce expansion in late February. Sears' stock was hovering at around $40 a share then.


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