Sears Announces a Partnership with Home Director to Offer New Homebuilders Essential Home Networking Solutions

Today at the International Builder's Show, Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) unveiled Sears Connected Home, an integrated home networking solution that is designed to enhance the overall quality of life for today's Internet-age families. Sears has created a comprehensive package of interoperable home networking products and services, which it is offering to new homebuilders in the high-growth Atlanta and Denver markets. This solution is scheduled to be available nationwide.

Also today, Sears Connected Home announced a partnership with Home Director, a national home networking hardware and software technology company. Through their partnership, the companies will provide end-to-end solutions including the design, installation, service and support for home networks based on Home Director's Network Connection Center, the backbone of Sears Connected Home's technology infrastructure.

"Sears has been a trusted, credible and authoritative source in the home for many generations, making Sears Connected Home a natural extension of our product and service offering," said Bill Kenney, vice president of home and online strategy, Sears, Roebuck and Co. and president of Internet Home Alliance. "Today marks a major milestone for the Sears Connected Home as we demonstrate the value we deliver to the nation's builder community."

Over 70,000 builders will be able to view the Sears Connected Home exhibit at the International Builder's Show. Sears and Home Director have teamed up with Cisco, Honeywell and Panasonic to demonstrate the type of home networking solutions that will be available through the Sears Connected Home initiative. With increasing demand from today's homebuyer, the Sears Connected Home simplifies the process for builders by becoming a single point of contact for virtually all home networking needs, ranging from installation of structured wiring through Home Director's nationwide network of certified installers to full support of products and applications.

"Home Director provides the industry's most comprehensive home networking solutions, from design and engineering to hardware and software for advanced entertainment, communication, security and home control," said Don Witmer, president and chief executive officer, Home Director. "Home Director has been delivering products to home builders for years. Through our partnership with Sears, we will provide end-to-end home networking solutions nationwide, beginning in two high-growth markets."

Home Director's networks enable families to equip their homes with a wide range of technology solutions including integrated whole-house audio and video entertainment, home theaters, computer networks, home security and home control systems. Home Director's structured wiring packages, providing the technology infrastructure for the home, are based on bundles of data and video cabling, which are run from a central connection box (Network Connection Center) to multiple wall outlets located throughout the house. Some examples of structured wiring solutions include:

  -- Share a single dial-up or high-speed broadband Internet connection
     throughout a home with multiple computers and "intelligent" Web-enabled
     devices and appliances

  -- Distribute cable or satellite television signals from one source to
     every TV in the home

  -- Play a DVD or VCR movie in one room, and watch it on any other TV in
     the house

  -- Listen to your stereo in any room of the house

  -- Place video cameras at the front door, in the back yard and in the
     baby's room and watch the pictures on any TV

  -- Share devices such as computer printers and fax machines

  -- Control your lighting, appliances, and heating/cooling systems all from
     your television or computer

  -- Subscribe to over a dozen different phone lines

Finally, Sears is helping to accelerate the development of this market as a founding member of Internet Home Alliance, which was established in October 2000. This association of leading companies works together to advance the home technology industry by developing the ecosystem needed to support the delivery of Internet lifestyle solutions and educating consumers on the value of an Internet lifestyle. Current Alliance members include Best Buy Co., Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., CompUSA, General Motors, Honeywell, Invensys, Motorola, The New Power Company, Panasonic (Matsushita Electric Corporation of America), Reliant Energy, Sears, Roebuck and Co., Sun Microsystems and Texas Instruments. Together, the Alliance members are helping the industry to develop Internet-enabled products and services that will eventually be available through the Sears Connected Home.

About Home Director

Based in Morrisville, N.C., Home Director, Inc. was launched in January 2000 as an independent, entrepreneurial spin-off of the former IBM Home Networking Solutions unit. Last year, Home Director raised $55 million in financing, including investments from Cisco Systems, Motorola and IBM. Home Director also has partnerships with the nation's leading service providers including SBC Communications, BellSouth, and DirecTV. As the market leader in the home networking industry, Home Director has built a successful business focusing on both leading edge technologies and strategic channel development. Home Director products are available throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more about Home Director and its products, visit or call toll free 1-800-426-7144.

About Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading U.S. retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of nearly $40 billion. The company serves families across the country through approximately 860 full- line department stores, approximately 2,100 specialized retail locations and a variety of online offerings accessible through the company's Web site, .

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially including, but not limited to, adverse changes in general economic conditions, lack of acceptance of new products, pricing pressures, lack of success of technological advances and other factors.

SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Contact: Loren Guertin, , or Karen
Zgorski 617-494-8202, both of Citigate Cunningham for Sears, Roebuck and Co.;
or Scott Yates of Home Director, 919-760-5029, or



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