Sears Expands Its Online Business
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) _ Sears, Roebuck and Co. announced an expansion of its Internet business Tuesday, adding five new product categories including home electronics and tabletop appliances.
Also now available at Sears’ relaunched Web site will be computers and office equipment, baby products and school uniforms.
Already available at sears.com are major appliances, tools, and lawn and garden equipment and parts.
Sears is the leading seller of appliances in the United States and hopes the addition of small appliances to its Web site will help it hang onto the top spot _ a quest that got an unexpected boost Tuesday when No. 2 appliance seller Circuit City announced it’s getting out of the home appliance business.
``We’re doubling the product categories consumers can find on sears.com,″ said Dennis Honan, vice president and general manager of Sears Online. ``We’re creating one-site shopping for top brands of primary products for the home, while adding new categories for parents.″
Sears, which had $41 billion in sales last year, is the third-biggest U.S. retailer overall, and No. 2 excluding grocery companies.
Supermarket operator Kroger Co., boosted by acquisitions that pushed its sales total to $45 billion, overtook Sears for the second spot in overall retail rankings released this month. Wal-Mart, which passed Sears in 1992, is the runaway leader with 1999 sales of $165 billion.
Sears’ stock was down 1.6 percent, or 50 cents, at $30.938 on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday.