Indianapolis Pilots Sears New Retailing Concepts

'Sears Like You've Never Seen Before' at Remodeled Stores Reopening on Fri.,

                                 Sept. 8

  Home-improvement Expert Bob Vila and Other Celebrities Visiting Stores

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Four Indianapolis-area Sears stores are part of a 13-unit pilot program that is testing innovative retailing ideas geared to create a "Sears Like You've Never Seen Before." The Sears stores are at Greenwood Park Mall in Greenwood, and Castleton Square Mall, Lafayette Square Mall and Washington Square Mall in Indianapolis, Ind. (other stores are in Cincinnati, Ohio and Milwaukee, Wis.).

The four Indianapolis-area stores officially reopen on Fri., Sept. 8, with ribbon-cutting ceremonies at 9:45 a.m. As part of its celebration, Sears will donate $10,000 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Indianapolis, which grants wishes for terminally ill children.

"We consider our four Indianapolis-area Sears stores to be a learning laboratory for our company," said Bill Kearns, Sears district general manager. "We have remodeled and remerchandised our stores to meet our customers wants and needs. Since the stores have been open throughout the remodeling process, they've watched our progress, and have responded quite positively to changes that we've made in customer service, merchandise assortment and the 'shopability' of our stores."

All of the newly remodeled stores have wider aisles, brighter lighting, shopping carts for customers' convenience and the "At Your Service" customer service desk, to respond to shoppers' inquiries and special requests. Individual stores are testing innovative features such as wall-mounted customer-assistance pagers or scanners to help with product or pricing questions. At Sears Greenwood store, customers will find Screenz@Sears, a computer center where people can read their e-mail, take computer classes, prepare business or school presentations, review and print their digital photos, and fax or scan materials. Some of the stores also feature Cafe Roebuck for light refreshments.

Each of the Sears Indianapolis test stores focuses on five "core" merchandise areas: appliances, hardware, electronics, home fashions and children's wear. They offer expanded product assortments and more brand names than ever before.

In the housewares area of Sears home-fashions department, the company is introducing Calphalon and Circulon cookware to its broad assortment, which also includes products from Kitchen Aid, Tilia and T-Fal. The children's department is expanding its merchandise assortment with exclusive lines such as Franklin the Turtle and Kid Cool, in addition to national brands such as OshKosh and Carters. The Indianapolis-area stores also feature Tool Territory, a new hardware/tool concept that Sears is rolling out to 140 stores this year. Tool Territory includes Craftsman, the most popular tool brand in America, as well as 72 new tool brands, such as Stanley, DeWalt, Makita, Delta, Fluke and Estwing - 18,000 tools in all.

Sears Gift Cards valued at $10 each will be given to the first 250 customers who enter each store after the ribbon-cutting ceremony (only one gift card per family). There also will be an opportunity for customers to register to win shopping sprees, as well as a trip for four to Walt Disney World.

Bob Vila, popular home-improvement expert and spokesperson for Craftsman tools, will sign autographs at two of the stores. Additionally, each of the four stores will feature appearances by soap-opera stars. The schedule of celebrity visits is as follows:

  At Sears at Greenwood Park Mall, 1251 U.S. 31 North, Greenwood, Ind.
   -- On Sat., Sept. 9, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. - Bob Vila will sign
      autographs in Tool Territory.
   -- On Sat., Sept. 16, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. - Winsor Harmon, who plays
      Thorne Forrester on "The Bold and the Beautiful," will sign

  At Sears at Castleton Square Mall, 6020 East 82nd St., Indianapolis, Ind.
   -- On Sat., Sept. 9, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. - Bob Vila will sign
      autographs in Tool Territory.
   -- On Sat., Sept. 16, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. - Scott Reeves, who plays
      Ryan McNeil on "The Young and the Restless," will sign autographs.

  At Sears at Lafayette Square Mall, 4050 Lafayette Square, Indianapolis,
  Ind. 317-328-6400
   -- On Sat., Sept. 16, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. - Jay Johnson, who plays
      Philip Kiriakis on "Days of Our Lives," will sign autographs.

  At Sears at Washington Square Mall, 10202 E. Washington St., Indianapolis,
  Ind. 317-890-4100
   -- On Sat., Sept. 16, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. - David Lago, who plays Raul
      on "The Young and the Restless," will sign autographs.

During the two-week grand-reopening celebration, there will be demonstrations of Kenmore and GE appliances; Craftsman tools; Calphalon, Circulon and T-Fal cookware; BoseĀ® home theaters; Compaq computers; Sony Digital Imaging; Mitsubishi HDTV and other products. At various times and stores, there will be visits by Franklin the Turtle; the KidCare photo-ID program; a Sears fashion show; "Reach for the Stars," a child-model search; children's car-seat safety checks, sponsored by Evenflo and AAA; and more. Details about all of the special events are available at 1-800-868-5993.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) 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 throughout the country through approximately 860 department stores, more than 2,100 specialized retail locations, and a variety of online offerings accessible through the company's Web site, .

SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Contact: Media, Carol Simantz of Catalyst Marketing, 847-692-6311, for
Sears, or Peggy Palter of Sears, 847-286-8361


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