While summer temperatures are still on the rise, believe it or not, many American families are already planning ahead for the upcoming holiday shopping season. According to a new national survey* conducted by Sears and Kmart, 60 percent of Americans have put money into a savings account to save for a specific time of year, such as the upcoming winter holidays. Beyond this, 42 percent say they will rely on savings opportunities, such as rewards or points programs or coupons, even more now than they did last year.
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In response, Sears and Kmart are again bringing back the Christmas Club card to help consumers budget for the holidays and save money over time, without incurring credit card interest or debt. The Christmas Club card can be used across all Sears and Kmart platforms - whether customers are shopping online, in stores or paying off layaway.
"Sixty-seven percent of Americans feel guilty that they aren't saving enough money, so we want to make it as easy as possible for them to budget and save for the upcoming 2010 holiday season," said Susan Ehrlich, president, Financial Services, Sears Holdings. "The Christmas Club card garnered tremendous positive feedback from our customers last year and we're looking to provide them with the same shopping choices and convenience, while continuing to offer yet another unique way to save."
These survey numbers are also significantly higher for multicultural audiences. Of those surveyed, 70 percent of African Americans and 58 percent of Hispanics feel guilty for not saving enough money. However, even though both groups admit they don't save as much as they would like, saving for the holidays is one of the top priorities when they do save. Fifty-nine percent of African Americans and 56 percent of Hispanics say that winter holidays, such as Christmas, are times when they typically save money in advance.
When activated between now and Oct. 31, Christmas Club card users will earn a three percent reward- up to a maximum $100 - based upon the value they have on their Christmas club cards on Nov. 15, 2010. The reward will be added to customers' Christmas Club cards by Nov. 24, 2010. To activate cards or add additional value at any time, customers can visit any Sears or Kmart store location, or online at www.sears.com/christmasclub or www.kmart.com/christmasclub.
Starting, adding value to and redeeming the Christmas Club card are designed to be easy and flexible for shoppers. Customers can start their Christmas Club cards with as little as $5, and they can add value as often as they want at any one of Sears Holdings' approximately 3,900 full-line and specialty retail stores, or online. Customers can also transfer money left over from their 2009 red Christmas Club cards to the new gold 2010 Christmas Club card if they participated in or received cards as gifts from last year's program.
"The holidays are about enjoying time with family and friends - not stressing over financial worries," said Ehlrich. "We are constantly looking for more ways to help serve our customers needs and improve their everyday lives, and the Christmas Club card was designed to do just that."
As with all Sears and Kmart gift cards, there are no fees associated with the Christmas Club card, and the value on the card will not expire. Cash or credit refunds are not allowed except where required by law. All Sears and Kmart Christmas Club cards can be redeemed at Sears, Kmart, Lands' End and The Great Indoors store locations, as well as online at www.sears.com, www.kmart.com, www.mygofer.com, www.landsend.com and www.thegreatindoors.com.
About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation's fourth largest broadline retailer with approximately 3,900 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, home electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Sears Holdings is the 2010 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands' End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has the Country Living collection, which is offered by Sears and Kmart. We are the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 12 million service calls made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. For more information, visit Sears Holdings' website at www.searsholdings.com.
About Kelton Research
Kelton Research is a full service market research consultancy with offices in Los Angeles and New York. Kelton serves as a strategic partner to both Fortune 500 corporations and smaller companies, utilizing a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies to drive tactical recommendations for clients. For more information about Kelton's services, please visit www.keltonresearch.com
*Methodological Notes on the Sears/Kmart Holiday Survey
The Sears/Kmart Christmas Club Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between July 6 and July 12, 2010 via email invitation and an online survey. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
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