Sears Announces Plans to Help Grow Market Share
Jun 2, 2003
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Sears, Roebuck & Co. Friday announced that it is making major changes in its appliance business to win back customers from the competition. The company reports that its strategy is aimed at helping it maintain and grow its longtime front-runner position in appliances. Sears has a 39-percent national market share in appliance sales, a market share that is reportedly three times that of its nearest competitor.

According to Tina Settlecase, vice president/general manager of home appliance sales at Sears, the company’s sales associates’ knowledge, exceptional service, and selection of brands is unmatched by any competitor. She added, "But we are making improvements that will freshen and enhance the appliance shopping experience."

The company reports that improvements, which are slated to appear in stores later this summer, include:

More "Value" Priced Products - Sears is expanding its offering of "value" products to give consumers a broader selection of appliances at opening price points, coinciding with the recent trend of value products sales growth. Sears also is offering more aggressive pricing on many appliance models.

Changes in the In-store Shopping Experience - Sears has reconfigured how appliances are presented on the sales floor, and is testing three layouts:
An expanded value center, with value product grouped in one area of the department.

A "good", "better", "best" presentation of appliances, enabling shoppers to see the lowest priced products as they first enter the department.

Appliances organized from "good" to "better" to "best" by brand.

Improved Signage - Sears is best in class in product presentation/selection and has improved signage to continue to give consumers the best possible shopping experience.

Take Me Home Today (TMHT) Products - Sears is expanding by 50 percent its offering of branded appliances that consumers can take home today. Currently, approximately 30 percent of the 240 to 260 appliance models found at Sears are TMHT.

Price Match Policy - Sears recently introduced a 110-percent price match policy, which, according to the company, means consumers simply won't find a better price at any other retailer, but if they do, Sears will match it and give the customer 10 percent of the difference in price.

Marketing - Sears is launching print and broadcast ads, direct mail, and public relations persuade consumers that Sears is the best place to buy an appliance.

According to the company, it is also testing the sale of appliances at Sears Hardware stores, offering next-day delivery in large-market areas, and making 4,000 brand-name appliances available to its customers.

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