Sears Holdings to roll out iPads, iPods to associates

Updated 10/13/2011 6:06 PM

HOFFMAN ESTATES -- Sears Holdings announced the staged rollout of Apple iPads and Apple iPod Touch devices starting with nearly 450 stores nationwide as part of a strategic plan to enhance the relationship between customers and associates while improving the in-store shopping experience.

The devices and its applications will help associates improve customer service and create a more personalized shopping experience.  Associates will be able to help customers check available inventory, order products online, access product information and videos, and utilize enhanced purchasing tools to buy products without leaving the store aisle.

"Leveraging wireless access and mobile technology and putting new tools into the hands of our associates and customers is another step toward becoming a truly integrated retailer," said Deidra Merriwether, senior vice president and president, retail services. "Sears Holdings is committed to not only innovating at the product level but also to utilizing these types of technologies to continue to improve the shopping experience for our customers in the store, online and at home."

The rollout is being significantly supported by the company's Information and Technology Group.

"We are upgrading the entire network and technology infrastructures, including enhanced wireless coverage, to provide our customers with free Wi-Fi access," said Keith Sherwell, senior vice president and chief information officer. "This will provide our associates with innovative tools and applications to support our customers at the highest levels of personal engagement while also offering customers a uniquely rich, integrated retail experience."

By offering free wifi at various locations, customers can use their smartphones or Web-enabled devices to surf the Web, shop online at or compare prices before they purchase to make sure they are getting the best price on the products they want.

The devices will also improve associate training, task management and productivity by helping associates become more knowledgeable and enabling them to assist customers faster and easier than ever before.

"This isn't only about cool new devices," added Merriwether, "this is about a better overall in-store shopping experience for our customers as we strive to put them first in everything we do."

Sears also plans to continue to add new applications and features to the devices throughout the year to make shopping easier and more exciting for its customers as they plan their holiday shopping.

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