Milwaukee Pilots Sears New Retailing Concepts

  'Sears Like You've Never Seen Before' at Remodeled Stores Reopening On
                              Fri., Sept. 8

   Tool Territory Opening in Milwaukee-area and other Wisconsin Stores;
                           Bob Vila Plans Visit

MILWAUKEE, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Four Milwaukee-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." Other Sears test stores are in Cincinnati, Ohio and Indianapolis, Ind.

The four Milwaukee-area remodeled stores officially reopen on Fri., Sept. 8, with ribbon-cutting ceremonies scheduled for the following Sears stores at the times noted: Sears at Brookfield Square Mall in Brookfield at 9:15 a.m., Sears at Southridge Mall in Greendale at 9:45 a.m., Bay Shore Mall in Milwaukee at 9:45 a.m., and Northridge Shopping Center in Milwaukee at 9:15 a.m. As part of its celebration, Sears will donate $10,000 to the Milwaukee Gilda's Club, which provides support to cancer patients and their families.

"The four Sears stores in Brookfield, Greendale and Milwaukee are like a learning laboratory for our company," said Alan Falkowsky, Sears district general manager. "Our updated and remerchandised stores are designed specifically to meet our customers' wants and needs. And, judging by their reactions during the remodeling process, we're right on track -- especially in regards to improving our customer service, merchandise assortment and the overall '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 Southridge 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 Milwaukee-area 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 Milwaukee-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 stores in Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Racine and Sheboygan also are celebrating the opening of Tool Territory in those stores on Sat., Sept. 9.*)

Sears Gift Cards valued at $10 each will be given to the first 250 customers who enter each of the remodeled stores 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 Disney cruise for four.

In upcoming weeks, several celebrities are scheduled to visit the Milwaukee-area Sears stores, including Bob Vila, popular home-improvement expert and spokesperson for Craftsman tools. The appearance schedule is as follows:

  At Sears at Brookfield Square Mall, 115 South Moorland, Brookfield, Wis.
  -- On Sun., Sept. 17, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. -- Jay Johnson, who plays
     Philip Kiriakis on "Days of Our Lives," will sign autographs.
  -- On Fri., Sept. 22, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. -- Bob Vila will sign
     autographs in Tool Territory.

  At Sears at Southridge Mall, 5200 S. 76th St., Greendale, Wis.
  -- On Sat., Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. -- Matt Cedeno, who plays
     Brandon Walker on "Days of Our Lives," will sign autographs.
  -- On Sat., Sept. 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. -- Bob Vila will sign
     autographs in Tool Territory.

  At Sears at Northridge Shopping Center, 7700 W. Brown Deer Rd.,
  Milwaukee, Wis. 414-354-2500
  -- On Sat., Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. -- Real Andrews, who plays
     Detective Marcus Taggert on "General Hospital," will sign autographs.
  -- On Sat., Sept. 23, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. -- Bob Vila will sign
     autographs in Tool Territory.

  At Sears at Bay Shore Mall, 5900 N. Port Washington Rd., Milwaukee, Wis.
  -- On Sat., Sept. 16, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. -- Cameron Mathison, who
     plays Ryan Lavery on "All My Children," 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; and more. Details about all of the special events are available at 1-800-304-6757.

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, .

  *Tool Territory grand openings are planned for Sat., Sept. 9 at the
   following stores:

  Sears at Forest Mall, 757 W. Johnson St., Fond du Lac, Wis. 920-926-2000
  A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Sat., Sept. 9 at 9 a.m.

  Sears at Pershing Plaza, 7630 Pershing Blvd., Kenosha, Wis. 262-697-3300
  A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Sat., Sept. 9 at 8:30 a.m.

  Sears at Regency Mall, 5600 Durand Ave., Racine, Wis. 262-554-5700
  A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Sat., Sept. 9 at 8:30 a.m.

  Sears at Memorial Mall, 3347 Kohler Memorial Dr., Sheboygan, Wis.
  A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Sat., Sept. 9 at 9:00 a.m.

SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

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


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