SEARS.COM RANGE OF GOODS HAS RISEN ON REVISED SITE

Byline: Valerie Seckler

NEW YORK — Sears.com on Tuesday relaunched its e-commerce site with five new categories of merchandise, including French Toast school uniforms and several additional shopping tools.
The new range of goods at Sears online also includes home electronics, computers and office equipment, small appliances and cookware as well as baby products.
Among the shopping aids now available at its Web site are a common navigation bar, e-shopping cart and search capability that can be applied across the categories of goods for the home and children, as well as the capacity to view up to three similar home items side by side.
Sears.com has not yet begun selling women’s apparel and apparently is in no rush to get started.
“We have no specific timetable; we’ll look at that as we can deliver a compelling, high-quality experience,” said Dennis Honan, vice president and general manager of Sears Online. “As broadband becomes more prevalent over the next three years, it will enhance the experience of shopping for apparel online. Also, we want to ensure we have the capacity to pick and pack apparel orders, fulfill them and handle returns in a correct economic model.”
In the meantime, Honan said, the Web site will stay focused mostly on merchandise for the home.
“We’ve chosen our e-commerce categories based on what market research has shown a demand for and what we feel we could deliver in a quality manner,” Honan noted.
French Toast will fulfill orders of school uniforms sold at the Web site, he said.
Several more initiatives will be introduced by Sears online this year, Honan revealed, including a credit account management tool and a gift-idea finder, as well as the fourth-quarter launches of BobVilla.com and TheGreatIndoors.com.
Sears went live online in 1996 with an information-driven site at sears.com. In 1997, it began its first e-commerce venture, at that Web site, selling its proprietary Craftsman Tools line. Sears.com last year expanded its offer to include large and midsized appliances, a bigger tool assortment and auto parts.

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