And when Best Buy recently had its own planned outage, not only did the retailer reveal how dependent its physical stores and call centers have come to be on the site, but it also set itself up for an imminent move to the cloud. And it's that type of infrastructure improvement that Sears had in mind. "It's a longer term enhancement that we did want to get complete in advance of the holidays," said one Sears manager. Outages—they're not just for disasters anymore.
The sites for Sears and KMart were down for about three hours on Wednesday (Aug. 15), starting around 9:00 AM New York time, in what the chain said was an intentional outage to prepare for an unspecified infrastructure upgrade for the fourth quarter. Planned weekday outages are becoming more common and, for some chains—such as Home Depot—it can be an ideal time to take the site down. One apparel chain has even been using outages as marketing opportunities.