Our customers have told us that they like to start their product research online but they still want to physically interact with the products in our stores, especially for larger items such as appliances. As the Foothills Mall in Fort Collins, Colorado was being redeveloped, we saw this as a great opportunity to continue to serve the community, but in a new way.
We are opening a new free-standing appliance store, powered by all of our digital capabilities that make it possible for our customers to easily access tens of millions of items. This is at the heart of what we call Integrated Retail – which is basically bringing the best of both worlds together – the convenience of shopping online and the physical experience of shopping in-store.
This new concept provides a great experience where our customers can not only explore all the products we have to offer but also interact with them virtually through our new Kitchen Creator. The Kitchen Creator is a 122-inch interactive digital display that shows how new appliances will appear in a full-size kitchen. Using a tablet, shoppers can select common kitchen layouts and appliances and customize the experience by choosing colors and finishes of cabinets and countertops.
Customers visiting the Fort Collins store have access to experts they can trust for great advice. Our associates take the time to understand what each customer is looking for, so they can help narrow down their choices and find product that’s just right for them. This store also has a new capability that we launched on sears.com last year called Meet with an Expert that gives our customers the ability to schedule an appointment with our in-store experts while they are shopping online.
Sears is the only retailer that provides all top 10 appliance brands, including the award-winning Kenmore brand, and is number one in Home Services. In the Fort Collins market, customers can expect the same full service on their appliances as they would at any other Sears location.
With 74 percent of our sales coming from Shop Your Way® members, we wanted to bring added convenience to our members – more points, more value and more member-only services such as In-Vehicle Pickup and easy returns and exchanges. We will continue to listen to our members and evolve our current and future store locations to better serve them. Take a look at this video where you will see our new store concept come to life at the Fort Collins, Colorado location.
Leena Munjal is SVP, Customer Experience and Integrated Retail at Sears Holdings Corporation
James Coyle is President, Home Appliances at Sears Holdings Corporation