Sears rolls out 'meet with an expert' tool

Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) is rolling out a new service called "Meet With An Expert" that lets shoppers schedule appointments online with appliance department staff prior to making a purchase.

Here's how it works:

While browsing or researching appliances on Sears' website, shoppers are presented with the option to "meet with an expert in our store." Clicking the link lets them select a store location, enter basic contact info, and choose a preferred appointment day and time frame within a five-day window.

Someone from the home appliance department then calls to set the specific time. The shopper shows up at the appointed time and heads to the marked Meet With An Expert location in the store's home appliance department.

"Choosing an appliance is a big decision, involving many options," said Leena Munjal, senior VP of customer experience and integrated retail at Sears Holdings. "Meet With An Expert gives our members a personalized experience that builds on the research they've already done online. Our knowledgeable associate will know the appliances our member is interested in and offer advice specific to their needs."

Meet With An Expert is currently available for the home appliance categories including refrigerators, washers and dryers, stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, vacuums and small kitchen appliances The service is available in all stores with the exception of Hometown, Outlet and Puerto Rico locations.

Sears omnichannel initiatives include buy online, pick up in-store and reserve in-store. The retailer also implemented in-vehicle pickup 15 years ago, and also offers in-vehicle returns and exchanges in five minutes through its mobile app.

In June, Sears opened a connected solutions flagship store in San Bruno, California, featuring a living room, kitchen, nursery, workout room, garage and outdoor area for shoppers to try out new connected home products. The department store has also expanded its selection of smart technology products in stores across the country.

For more:
-See this Sears press release

Related stories:
Sears opens smart technology flagship in Silicon Valley
Sears loyalty members make up 74% of quarterly sales
Sears considering REIT to raise more cash
Chief executive loans Sears $400M
Sears' losses extend to 30th consecutive quarter

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