The number of people who visited Sears.com and Kmart .com at least once in February—an industry metric known as unique visitors—rose 20 percent, to 14.7 million, from the same period last year. That makes Sears' Web business the second-fastest-growing site among mass merchants in 2007. Sears clearly has some serious challenges, but go tell that to the company's Web people.
The Web world defies prediction—or does it? Conventional wisdom would have the new up-and-coming retailers faring better online, while the old-style bigbox merchants lag behind. And yet, Starbucks has had far more online troubles than it should have while Sears, according to this intriguing Chicago Tribune feature, is soaring online.