Sears, widely known as a traditional department store, is moving into the connected solutions space. They are taking a leap into the home automation market as well as the personal, entertainment and fitness technology markets.
The 121-year-old retailer announced the launch of three, physical pilot stores in the Chicago-area that will feature “Connected Solutions” shops. These shops bring together one of the most distinctive collections of smart, connected home and personal automation devices in the industry.
Sears' home automation products include anything from thermostats and smart locks to lighting, smart watches, sensors, cameras, garage openers, and baby monitors. In addition to home automation products, Sears Connected Solutions shops feature fitness products like:
- heart rate monitors
- fitness activity monitor wristbands
- fitness equipment like treadmills and elliptical machines connected with heart rate monitors.
This giant technological leap puts Sears on top of a rather short list of innovative retail stores.
“With a presence in more than 13 million homes annually, dominance across the appliance, fitness and tools categories and knowledgeable associates, Sears is uniquely positioned to lead this category,” said Jim Pearse, vice president of consumer electronics for Sears Holdings. “We are presenting products 'up and running' enabling our customers and Shop Your Way members to discover and learn how they connect, work and fit into their daily lives. No one else in retail is doing this today.”
The Connected Solution shops feature another high-tech product, the Craftsman Assurelink garage door opener, which sends texts to owners alerting them when the garage door is opened and closed (a good way to know when kids come and go from home). The Connected Solutions shops aim to make everyday life more simple and streamlined with the help of integrated electronics that combine home safety, smart entertainment and electronic fitness.
In-Store and Online
Sears is testing the Connected Solutions store format at three Chicago-area locations. The company is calling the stores “one of the most authoritative assortments of smart, connected home and personal automation products in the industry.”
In a press release, Sears Holdings DVP in-store experience, Craig LaRosa explains:
“Many of our members are aware of 'smart' devices or 'home automation' products but don't fully understand how they are used to make their lives better…Connected Solutions offers an entertaining and interactive environment to learn about the products and our dedicated sales team is ready to help customers develop solutions that are relevant to them. Sales associates also ensure that all members and customers leave Sears stores with connected products that are fully functioning and are available to provide ongoing customer support following a purchase.”
Sears also has an online Connected Solutions store which features all the home automation, smart electronics, and connected auto products for online purchase.
Innovation and the Customer Experience
Sears has made a bold move, catapulting itself into a technology realm that is underpopulated. Sears is capitalizing on this industry shift and recognizes the important role connectivity is playing and will continue to play in their customers' lives. The connected solutions industry is projected to generate hundreds of billions in sales over the next five years.
Sears has made the leap, will you?
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