Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD) today announced a broad-based assistance effort for residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Sears is making nearly $500,000 in merchandise and gift cards available to the American Red Cross, along with up to $500,000 in matching funds to help families hardest hit by the storm.
"Our hearts and thoughts go out to everyone who's been touched by the tragic events along the Gulf Coast," said Alan Lacy, Sears Holdings vice chairman and chief executive officer. "Sears, Lands' End and Kmart are focusing relief efforts on the families, homes and communities in most dire need of assistance, along with additional outreach to Sears Holdings associates and families who are most impacted."
"Starting Saturday, we will match customer donations up to $500,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund made at Sears and Kmart stores," said Aylwin Lewis, president of Sears Holdings and chief executive officer of Kmart and Sears Retail. "We hope our customers will join us in providing support to those who are most in need."
Donations will be accepted at Sears and Kmart's 3,500 stores in the U.S.(1) through the end of September. In addition, Sears and Kmart stores in and around the impacted area are accepting American Red Cross vouchers and client assistance cards as payment for products needed to rebuild from the storm.
Sears, Kmart and Lands' End merchandise is being made available for shipment as soon as authorities permit delivery. The items include a wide cross-section of apparel, shoes and bedding identified by relief agencies as most widely required. In addition, Sears and Kmart gift cards will be made available to the American Red Cross ( http://www.redcross.org/ ).
Sears is also providing free flat-tire repair at Sears Auto Centers at select locations in the impacted areas as a courtesy to customers whose tires have been damaged by weather-related driving conditions. The program begins Saturday, Sept. 3, and runs through the end of September (see the list of participating Sears Auto Centers below*).
Sears and Kmart already have activated an internal disaster relief program for associates who incurred substantial personal property damage, as well as its catastrophic event pay policy for approximately 1,800 associates of Sears and Kmart's closed facilities in the affected area. Sears Holdings' associates will also have the opportunity to contribute to a relief fund for fellow associates most impacted by the disaster.
In addition to these efforts, Sears hopes to alleviate some of the financial impact of this disaster by incorporating Sears credit cardholders into a Citigroup program announced yesterday. Sears cardholders located in "individual assistance" areas identified by FEMA will have no minimum payments, no fees and no accrued interest, all for a minimum of 90 days.
*List of participating Sears Auto Centers providing free flat-tire repair: 1722 Smithdale Road McComb MS 39648 1000 Turtle Creek Mall-Suite A-6 Hattiesburg MS 39402 1400 Metro Center Jackson MS 39209 1051 Bonita Lakes Circle Meridan MS 39301 2800 Highway 90 Gautier MS 39553 2600 Beach Road (Highway 90) Biloxi MS 39531 150 North Shore Boulevard-Suite 1000 Slidell LA 70460 2000 Southwest Railroad Avenue Hammond LA 70401 4400 Veterans Memorial Boulevard Metairie LA 70006 197-5 Westbank Expressway Gretna LA 70053 6551 Blue Bonnet Boulevard Baton Rouge LA 70809 9001 Cortana Place Baton Rouge LA 70815 6011 West Park Avenue Houma LA 70364 3201 Bel Air Mall Mobile AL 36606 About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation's third largest broadline retailer, with approximately $55 billion in annual revenues, and with approximately 3,800 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, home electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands' End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has Martha Stewart Everyday products, which are offered exclusively in the U.S. by Kmart and in Canada by Sears Canada. The company is the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 14 million service calls made annually. For more information, visit Sears Holdings' website at http://www.searsholdings.com/ .
(1) Does not include Orchard Supply Hardware outletsPhoto: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050324/CGTH017LOGO
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SOURCE: Sears Holding Corporation
CONTACT: Sears Holdings Public Relations, +1-847-286-8371