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Sears Fires First Round Of Holiday Promos

The holiday selling season got off to an even earlier start this year with a special three-hour Sears promotional event last Sunday.

In an attempt to take holiday shoppers out of the market, the retailer’s “Member Bonus event” guaranteed Shop Your Way loyalty club members the lowest prices through Christmas Eve on select items in Sears stores.

The discounts are part of a “Sears Days Lowest Prices Of The Season” sale that runs Oct. 20-Nov. 1, but was previewed from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. last Sunday evening.

Sears will automatically reimburse members the price difference in points, up to a hundred dollars’ worth, should any tagged item purchased during the three-hour window sell for less during the holiday season, including Black Friday.

The sale mostly covered Kenmore major appliances, Craftsman tools, NordicTrack exercise equipment, mattresses, footwear and apparel.

“More people are starting their holiday shopping early so we wanted to do something extra special for those members to help them get a jump-start on their gift lists,” said Joelle Maher, Sears’ president and chief member officer. “It’s the perfect combination of beating the holiday rush and peace of mind knowing you’re getting the best deals of the holiday season – guaranteed.”

In other Sears news, the company has promoted a senior finance exec, Jason Hollar, to chief financial officer.

He succeeds Robert Schriesheim, whose pending departure was announced last May after five years in the job.

Hollar joined Sears two years ago as finance senior VP, with responsibility for financial planning and analysis, procurement, and the business finance relationship with centralized finance.

“In his time with the company, Jason has been focused on driving efficiencies and creating value as our company undergoes rapid change,” president/CEO Eddie Lampert said in a statement. “His leadership and financial acumen are important skills as we accelerate our transformation and deliver for our members, associates and shareholders.”

That transformation, he reiterated, is centered on the company’s Shop Your Way retail platform — a Sears-and Kmart-neutral loyalty program — and his efforts to make Sears Holdings “asset-light.”

Prior to joining Sears, Hollar was VP/corporate controller at Delphi Automotive, but spent most of his career at Navistar International.

Sears said Schriesheim is leaving “to focus on his other business interests and pursue other career opportunities.”

Elsewhere, Stanley Black & Decker, which was considered a leading contender to purchase the retailer’s Craftsman business, instead acquired the tool division of Newell Brands for $1.95 billion.

Craftsman is expected to command a comparable purchase price, which would go far in shoring up Sears’ strained finances. Other potential bidders include Electrolux’s former Husqvarna AB unit.