National Survey Finds Shoppers Cite Value, Customer Service as Key Drivers in Choosing Holiday Shopping Destinations

Sears Prepared to Help with Gift-Buying Roadmap, Improved Customer Shopping Experience

A national online survey on shopping preferences conducted for Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S), found that more than three-fourths of all consumers surveyed cite good value and friendly, helpful staffs as the two most important factors in determining where they will shop this holiday season.

This holiday season Sears has the best solution to this challenge -- For the first time, Sears is featuring an in-store "Wish Walk" of more than 140 products grouped by popular gift categories that will help shoppers find perfect gifts for everyone on their list. The festive displays guide customers through the store in a simple, easy-to-shop manner that includes tear-off wish lists for customers to keep track of gift ideas as they shop.

Sears also is employing an aggressive strategy to hire more seasonal associates this year during the critical holiday selling period to provide shoppers with the best customer service.

In addition, Sears has revamped many of its departments, including home electronics, kids' clothes and home fashions, to better meet the needs of holiday shoppers searching for the hottest electronic gadgets, apparel and home decor ideas of the season.

Sears also offers a "Buy Online, Pick-up in Store" option via, as a way of increasing customers' convenience and ease of shopping. In fact, this popular way to shop accounts for more than 40 percent of's online orders.

Sears commissioned Insight Express to poll consumers last week. Some key findings included:

  -- Approximately two-thirds of moms are most likely to be the main gift
     buyer in their families.
  -- More than half of all respondents plan to do their holiday shopping
  -- Two-thirds of all respondents plan ahead and intend to complete their
     shopping between now and Dec. 15.  Another 10 percent already have
     completed their shopping.

  About Sears

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. With revenues in 2003 of $41.1 billion, the company offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,300 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the U.S. and Canada, which includes approximately 870 full-line and 1,300 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through,, and specialty catalogs. Sears is the only retailer where consumers can find each of the Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End brands together -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the largest provider of product repair services with more than 14 million services calls made annually.

SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

CONTACT: Media, Chris Brathwaite of Sears, Roebuck and Co.,

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