Retail Rewards Programs Gain Traction in Recession

Sears and Kmart ShopYourWay Rewards Provide Instant Savings to Customers

In light of the recession, consumers are leaning on loyalty programs to stretch household budgets further by earning rewards for their purchases. Research shows U.S. consumer participation in rewards programs has increased by nearly 20 percent since 2007. In fact, nearly one-third of consumers rate retail rewards programs as "more important" during the recession.(1)

With the hunger for reward programs on the rise, shopping at Sears and Kmart just got more "rewarding" with the retailers' new ShopYourWay Rewards program. Just in time for the holiday season, customers now have a new way to shop as they can accumulate and spend rewards, receive bonus rewards and special storewide promotions at Sears Holdings' retailers - Kmart, Sears, including the Lands' End store at Sears, and mygofer.

"In this economy, Americans are looking for new ways to get the most out of their money," said Mike Gatti, executive director, Retail Advertising and Marketing Association. "Giving shoppers the option of receiving rewards or bonus points absent of credit cards will likely make a lasting impression."

ShopYourWay Rewards allows customers to earn rewards toward purchases regardless of their method of payment - cash or credit. The rewards are issued within 48 hours of earning and there is no threshold that needs to be met in order to receive rewards. The rewards are stored on the ShopYourWay Rewards Card and members can redeem rewards where and how they desire. While many loyalty programs are tied to credit card purchases, Sears and Kmart recognize the importance of giving its customers the choice to shop their way and still earn benefits.

"As the holidays are quickly approaching, the timing to take advantage of the ShopYourWay Rewards program could not be better," said Lou Ramery, senior vice president, relationship marketing, Sears Holdings. "Now, more than ever, our customers are looking to stretch their budgets and get more value when they shop. We've tailored our rewards program to fit their needs and lifestyles."

Consumers can register free at any Kmart location or on the website - to begin accumulating rewards. Specialized for the on-the-go consumer, it's easy for shoppers to sign up for and track their ShopYourWay Rewards account online. Each member will have access to check their transaction history and accrued reward value, redeem rewards, submit a missing transaction and modify their profile.

Customers will receive a ShopYourWay Rewards card immediately when they enroll in a Kmart store and receive their card via mail when they enroll online. Each time a customer shows their ShopYourWay Rewards card with a purchase, card holders will earn one percent in rewards as well and are eligible for storewide bonus rewards - K'ching Surprises at Kmart, and Craftsman Club and KidVantage rewards at Sears. Customers will earn one percent in ShopYourWay Rewards plus bonus reward offers in apparel. Customers, who sign up for KidVantage, will continue to get 15 percent off after they reach $100 in purchases. And Craftsman Club members who sign up for Craftsman Club Rewards will see bonus rewards added to their ShopYourWay Rewards and will receive coupons via e-mail.

"We believe that it's important to listen to and understand what our customers need to make their lives better. The ShopYourWay Rewards program allows us to recognize and extend our gratitude to all of our customers by giving them a new and exciting way to shop while offering benefits and rewards at the same time," Ramery continued.

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  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. 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 exclusively 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

(1) Colloquy Research, After the Meltdown: Consumer Attitudes and Perceptions About Loyalty Programs in the Post-Recession Economy, June 2009

First Call Analyst: Westenberger, Richard
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SOURCE: Sears Holdings Corporation

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