The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD) the 2010 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year for its outstanding contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through its numerous initiatives focusing on educating customers about energy-efficient products. Sears' efforts also made it easier and more affordable for customers to obtain ENERGY STAR products. In honor of the national recognition and to show appreciation for customers' ongoing support, Sears' stores nationwide and online at Sears.com will offer an extra five percent off all ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances from March 1-4, 2010.
"We're honored to be named this year's Retail Partner of the Year for our efforts to make ENERGY STAR-qualified products more accessible and understandable to our customers," said Bruce Johnson, interim chief executive officer and president for Sears Holdings. "ENERGY STAR-qualified products address environmental concerns while simultaneously providing great value to our customers. We are pleased that our home appliance business was able to increase sales of ENERGY STAR-qualified products in a very challenging economy. And 91 percent of our home electronics products sold were ENERGY STAR-qualified. We have taken out a national print ad today thanking our customers for making the switch to ENERGY STAR-qualified products," said Johnson.
Sears' efforts in 2009 to promote ENERGY STAR-qualified products helped customers save money on their utility bills, which in turn, contributed to helping protect the environment. In fact last year alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved $17 billion on their energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 30 million vehicles.
Sears Holdings, an ENERGY STAR partner since joining in 1998, has been recognized for its leadership in educating customers about energy-efficient products that earn the ENERGY STAR, the government-backed symbol of energy efficiency. The following efforts by Sears, Roebuck and Co. contributed to Sears Holdings earning the 2010 ENERGY STAR Retail Partner of the Year:
-- Responsible Appliance Disposal: Sears is proud to be the only retail member of the Environmental Protection Agency's Responsible Appliance Disposal program - RAD. Through the RAD program, Sears took millions of energy inefficient appliances off the grid and disposed of them properly. Sears and its partners ensure that the disposal process takes place in an environmentally friendly manner to avoid the discarding of appliances in landfills. Many of the components of the old appliance are then recycled. -- Customer Awareness and Marketing: Sears strongly featured the ENERGY STAR logo in print materials, increasing by 40% the number of ENERGY STAR logos in its ads, achieving over 40.8 billion impressions. Sears also provided customers with information on the benefits of ENERGY STAR through brochures, "Did You Know" circulars and its various Web sites. In February Sears' Home Appliance business introduced the Home Appliance Research center and online rebate center as a means for consumers to get product information, access utility rebates and find competitive pricing, all while in the store or on sears.com/energystar. In broadcast media Sears ran two dedicated ENERGY STAR commercials, and also featured ENERGY STAR products in popular television shows such as ABC TV's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Sears also promoted ENERGY STAR-qualified products through its public relations activities at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show and donated products to worthy families in collaboration with Rebuilding Together and Sears' "Heroes at Home" cause marketing program. This included events in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans. -- Product Selections: Sears increased the number of ENERGY STAR-qualified products available across all eligible areas including: tools, lawn and garden, seasonal lighting, televisions and home appliances. For example, the lawn and garden business introduced its first ENERGY STAR-qualified product. The Home Appliance business increased total ENERGY STAR-qualified SKUs to over 200, representing over 60 percent of the total assortment -- Training: Sears continued its rigorous Home Appliances and Home Electronics training programs to ensure a best-in-class sales force that is knowledgeable about energy efficiency. Key training initiatives included road shows where associates from more than 100 locations across the U.S. received hands-on ENERGY STAR training in preparation for the "Cash for Appliances" rebate program. Sears also developed training DVDs that featured ENERGY STAR information. -- Partnerships: Sears made significant strides in developing its partnership with the EPA and other non-utility entities in 2009 including the Boston ENERGY STAR exhibit house, helping with the ENERGY STAR partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, and serving as the lead sponsor for the Department of Energy's and EPA's annual ENERGY STAR partner meetings for Consumer Electronics and Home Appliances. Sears also continued its commitment to developing utility partnerships to help make ENERGY STAR-qualified products more affordable for consumers. -- Promotions: Committed to giving consumers access to ENERGY STAR-qualified products, Sears Home Appliance merchants ran multiple promotions throughout the year specifically around these products.
Looking ahead through this year, Sears Holdings will continue to expand upon its efforts to bring ENERGY STAR to consumers. Specifically, it plans to:
-- Move from providing customers with information to creating an experience where customers can interact with ENERGY STAR -- Increase the number of ENERGY STAR-qualified products offered as well as expand the selection into new areas -- Incorporate the online ENERGY STAR tools, such as the energy savings calculator, into the store experience through its Home Appliance Research Center, online kiosks or netbooks -- Continue to create unique offers exclusively for ENERGY STAR-qualified products, particularly around the U.S. Department of Energy's $300 million State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program (SEEARP), also know as "Cash for Appliances" -- Create more in-store "Did you Knows" to further communicate the savings facts of ENERGY STAR-qualified products
"Sears Holdings is leading the way in creating solutions to climate change through greater energy efficiency," said Gina McCarthy, EPA assistant administrator for Air and Radiation. "Through the sales and marketing of quality products in numerous categories that have earned the ENERGY STAR, Sears Holdings is helping customers increase their energy efficiency while reducing our nation's emissions of greenhouse gases."
The 2010 Partner of the Year Awards are given to manufacturers and retailers that successfully promote and deliver ENERGY STAR-qualified products, saving consumers money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Award winners are selected from more than 17,000 organizations that participate in the ENERGY STAR program. Sears Holdings' accomplishments will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on March 18, 2010.
For more information on Sears ENERGY STAR efforts, visit www.sears.com/energystar
For more information on Sears Green Corporate Initiatives, visit www.sears.com/green
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 ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Today, ENERGY STAR offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect the environment for future generations. More than 17,000 organizations are ENERGY STAR partners committed to improving the energy efficiency of products, homes, buildings and businesses. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).
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