Shoppers Find Something Different Inside Sears
Sears Holdings is looking to give consumers a reason to lounge around its stores. According to a Brandweek report, the company is opening internet lounges in 42 stores by the end of the year. It already has 51 lounges in Sears, Sears Grand and Kmart stores. Some Sears Grand locations also have areas in the store where shoppers can play electronic games.
The lounge at the Sears in downtown White Plains, NY has been open about a year and it attracts everyone from local business people to kids shopping in the store with their parents to other individuals who do not have an internet connection at home.
According to Sears, the internet lounges have banks of up to 10 computers and attract as many as 200 consumers a day via word-of-mouth and store circulars. Customers can take advantage of up to 30 minutes of free internet access.
“We want to create an environment that connects with consumers in various dimensions,” said Paul Fenaroli, vp-new store development at Sears. “This is one of them.”
“The objective (of the lounges) is really three-fold,” said Mr. Fenaroli. “We want to provide customers a service with no first-order commercial impact. And if they find it convenient to check e-mail, news or weather, that’s good for us. If that makes us that more relevant and helpful in their mindset, that’s good enough.”
Discussion Questions: Is Sears Holdings onto something with its in-store internet lounges and areas to play electronic games? What value (or not) do
you see in this effort?