Shut Down For "Site Enhancements" went down a few minutes after midnight (New York time) on Thursday (March 19) morning and stayed down for at least several hours. Pingdom first detected the outage but it wasn't hard to confirm. Initially the site was simply not responsive. After a little more than two hours, the homepage was replaced with a sign that said, "We're sorry. is temporarily closed for site enhancements." Is it coincidental that this comes on the heels of Sears declaring this week that it was going to be expanding more of its online efforts with its KMart corporate brother?

The early morning timing of the outage could suggest some site maintenance, but the fact that the site went silent for hours and that it was only then that such a "Move along. Nothing to see here today, folk" sign was posted, that does make it look a little baffling. (Note: The site seems to have come back now, several hours after the darkness. That's certainly good, but the question of why it went dark for hours before a maintenance note was posted still exists. Sears just messaged that the outage was for a planned site upgrade and that they had thought the splash page had been there since it went down. It might have been somewhere, but we didn't see it.)