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The Plan to Make Sears Shoppers Go Digital

A customer secures a new washing machine purchased at a Sears store in Richmond, Calif.
A customer secures a new washing machine purchased at a Sears store in Richmond, Calif.Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

In its attempt to reverse two years of losses and a six-year sales slump, Sears is going all in online. The company’s new mantra is “integrated retail,” a phrase uttered over and over again last week by Chief Executive Eddie Lampert as he addressed “unacceptable” losses and a plan to turn things around. The idea is to stitch together closely sales on the Internet and mobile devices with those in bricks-and-mortar stores. Lampert said Sears is doing this by shrinking shipping times, inviting online customers to pick up goods at its stores, and letting in-store shoppers have items shipped back to their homes.

Sears has also taken a page from Amazon.com in allowing third-party retailers to sell goods on its online real estate. Shoppers can now order at least 75 million products on the department-store chain’s Internet platform, most of which aren’t car batteries, kitchen appliances, or the other Sears staples. The company has even created an in-house app-development team.