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Sears Testing Three ‘Connected’ Shops

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears is now operating “Connected Solutions” pilot shops within three flagship stores in Illinois.

The experiential shops, first reported here last month, provide a selection  of smart, connected home, and personal automation devices across the CE, fitness, automotive, home and mobile categories.

Jim Pearse, CE VP for Sears Holdings, said the 1,700-square-foot shops feature live product displays, “enabling our customers and Shop Your Way members to discover and learn how they connect, work and fit into their daily lives. No one else in retail is doing this today.”

The company has also created a dedicated department online at, and in the past has pitched its connected products at International CES.

Craig LaRosa, Sears Holdings’ deputy VP for in-store experience and design, said, “Many of our members are aware of smart devices or home-automation products but don’t fully understand how they are used to make their lives better. Connected Solutions offers an entertaining and interactive environment to learn about the products.”

 Sales associates can help customers develop relevant solutions, he said, and ensure that they leave the shops with connected products that are fully functioning. Products include smart watches, streaming-media devices, health monitors and the company’s own Craftsman Assurelink garage door opener that can notify homeowners when the door is opened and closed.

Pearse added that Sears is uniquely positioned to lead the category given its full service sales floor and dominance in the majaps, tools and fitness categories.

The retailer cited a Gartner Internet of Things study that projected the connected solutions industry will generate hundreds of billions in sales over the next five years.

The first three Connected Solutions pilot shops recently opened at Sears stores in Oakbrook, Schaumburg and Vernon Hills, Ill.