Americans like taking their car in for service about as much as they like going to the dentist. Sears Auto Centers is on a mission to change that starting with testing a new store concept that features an interactive customer experience. We unveiled it recently at the grand re-opening of the Sears Auto location at Oakbrook Center mall in the Chicago suburbs.
In 2016 we are making significant investments in our business – including our people, processes and technology – and we are seeing positive results. Our tire business is strong, thanks to our wide selection of brands and sizes and our recent introduction of Patriot Tires, a high-quality opening price point tire.
We’ve listened to our members and customers and are taking aggressive steps to update the shopping experience at Sears Auto Centers to ensure they have a comfortable and productive environment. Features of the new store concept include redesigned merchandise displays and the customer service desk, a customer lounge, free Wi-Fi and a charging/workstation built to serve the needs of our members and customers.
The new Sears Auto customer service experience also includes advanced technology such as our free Performance Snapshot and our new Digital Tire Journey area of the store.
Many tire shoppers begin their tire purchase journey with online research. At Sears Auto we have also seen this in significant year-over-year growth of our online channel. Yet, members and customers often are not sure what to look for when shopping for tires. For example, they may not know why one tire is different from another, in features such as ride quality, durability or the warranty.
The new Digital Tire Journey provides a seamless experience that helps customers with their tire research, integrating in-store touchscreen technology with a powerful new digital experience on searsauto.com, set for national launch online in August. This interactive research process helps our customers and expert advisors understand what kind of driver they are and what tire best fits their needs.
As we launch the Oak Brook, Illinois, store concept we have plans to expand our remodeling initiative across the country based on our learnings and results. We are here to service our members and create lasting relationships, and it is our mission to help them make an educated decision so they can focus on what’s most important – running their lives, not worrying about their vehicle.
Brian Kaner is the president of Sears Automotive