Sears Launches Any Occasion Gift Registry

(PR Newswire; 12/04/97)

Innovative Registry Makes Giving and Receiving Gifts Easier

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ Sears (NYSE: S) recently unveiled an innovative "any occasion" gift registry offering customers the opportunity to create year-round wish lists featuring merchandise ranging from camping equipment to towels to the most coveted Craftsman tools.

Offering the widest selection of merchandise of any national gift registry source, the Sears Gift Registry features four key categories: Bridal, Baby, Craftsman (for America's favorite brand of tools and lawn and garden equipment) and Any Occasion. Entries in all registry categories remain active for one year after the last purchase and can be tapped for housewarmings, holidays, birthdays, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and any other gift- giving occasion. If purchases are made from a registry at least once a year, it remains active, serving as a personal gift database.

"Through research, we have learned that the one thing our target customer needs more of is time," says Jean Haley, director of customer relationship marketing for Sears. "The gift registry was developed to enable the customer to consolidate and simplify her gift needs."

The registry also offers a Gift Ideas category, which can be accessed by entering the age and gender of the recipient. The registry then creates a list of appropriate gift ideas from throughout the store.

In addition to Bridal and Baby, Sears has found that many customers are enjoying the Craftsman and Any Occasion registry options.

"People celebrating special occasions today really want a blend of traditional and non-traditional gifts, preferably located in one place that is easily accessible to family and friends," says Haley.

"Trends in weddings also continue to indicate the need for more practical gift options," Haley notes. "More couples are marrying later, purchasing homes sooner, and as many as 70 percent of couples register together."

For example, during the pilot test of the Sears Gift Registry in Milwaukee, the BUGWACKER(R) electronic insect killer and Craftsman tools were among the top 10 requested items, along with traditional items such as microwaves, breadmakers and televisions.

The Sears Gift Registry offers a convenient way to give and receive the most wanted gifts. The registry is available at all Sears full-line stores nationwide, so out-of-town friends and relatives can access the "wish lists" of far-away loved ones at their local Sears store.

With exciting new technology, the hunt for the right item number and the cumbersome clipboard and pen are obsolete with the Sears Gift Registry. Registrants simply point hand-held scanners at the bar codes on the items they want, and the items automatically are added to their lists. Gift purchasers access registries through computer kiosks with touch-sensitive screens.

Sears kiosks where registries can be accessed in English or Spanish guide users through the registry and allow them to display and print comprehensive lists and select gift ideas.

With its network of more than 830 full-line department stores and 2,500 off- the-mall stores, Sears is a leading retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and related services for families throughout North America, serving more than 50 million households.

SOURCE Sears, Roebuck and Co. -0- 12/04/97

/CONTACT: Randy Labuzinski of Edelman Public Relations, 312-240-2728; or Kathleen M. Connolly of Sears, Roebuck and Co., 847-286-4644/ (S)