At Sears Holdings, we are focused on helping our members get the products they need for their home and family. We offer a variety of financing options that help meet those needs, such as credit and layaway. In 2012, we launched another payment option in-store called LEASE IT provided by WhyNotLeaseIt that was aimed at providing an affordable solution to those who do not have a credit option or cannot benefit from layaway since they need the product immediately.
We have seen continued growth in demand from our members for this payment option, processing over one million leases since the launch. To build on this success, we are now making it easier to lease products not just in-store, but across our digital channels, including Sears.com, Kmart.com, the Sears and Kmart apps and our Puerto Rico sites, Sears.com/pr and Kmart.com/pr.
We are the only national full service retailer to offer a full assortment of products to lease both online and in-store. Members can lease hundreds of thousands of items fulfilled by Sears or Kmart in numerous categories; such as Appliances, Lawn & Garden, Sporting Goods, Mattresses, Electronics, Tools and Jewelry. Not only can members lease these products, they also have the option to include services such as home delivery, installation and protection agreements into one lease.
In the first few days since launching online, we have already seen our members leverage our extensive online offerings to lease a variety of items in all categories: riding lawn mowers, portable power equipment, refrigerators, ranges, sheds, TVs, gaming systems, patio furniture, fitness equipment, jewelry and more. We are excited to be able to provide this affordable solution digitally to our members so they can easily get the products they need.
Here are a few examples illustrating the online leasing experience. When an eligible leasing item is selected, the weekly lease payment is shown below the purchase price.
Members have the option of selecting the lease option on the product details page.
The lease option can also be selected in cart.
Members can select leasing on their mobile device as well.
An online estimator tool is also available to help members estimate their payment with different payment schedules and lease amounts.
Members can add any combination of eligible leasing products from different product categories and services to their cart for a total of $199 or more to qualify for a lease.
After reaching the $199 leasing order threshold, they can complete the lease application and set up payments.
Getting approved for the LEASE IT program is fast and easy. Since a credit check is not required for approval, members do not need to worry about low credit scores. This program offers weekly, bi-weekly or monthly payments based upon their pay cycle, and the convenience of lease payments being automatically deducted from their bank account or credit card.
After completing the lease transaction details and making their first payment online, members will automatically be directed to our websites or apps to finalize the lease. We want members to be fully satisfied with their lease purchase, which is also eligible for our standard return policy.
After the transaction is completed, the LEASE IT program offers members additional flexibility and choices. The standard lease term is as short as five months with an early purchase option at 30, 60 or 90 days (not available in NJ, VT, WI, and WV) to reduce the overall cost. After the five month minimum lease term, members have the option to continue to lease at the same payment amount and schedule, buy out their lease or return the item.
This is another example of how we are continually innovating to make online shopping easy for our members and providing solutions to help everyone get the products they need for their family and home. For more information, refer to the leasing pages on Sears.com or Kmart.com.
Leena Munjal is the Chief Digital Officer at Sears Holdings Corporation