Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) will sponsor the Internet Home, a fully functioning home that incorporates broadband connectivity, Internet-enabled appliances, home networking products and services such as the Cisco Internet Home Gateway and an Internet-enabled kitchen.
Educating builders about the potential of the Internet Home and the role Sears can play with builders in creating Internet Homes is one key reason for Sears sponsorship.
Located at Cisco's headquarters in San Jose, Calif., the 1,700-square-foot Internet Home showcases the benefits of a high-speed, always-on Internet connection that enables an array of consumer devices and appliances in the home. The home is intended to allow residential developers, home builders, service providers and enabling partners to learn more about the benefits of an Internet Home and to obtain information on how they can become involved in creating Internet Home products and services.
Benefits of the Internet Home include services such as video on demand for entertainment and educational purposes; energy and security monitoring; personal and family management and simultaneous Internet access from multiple personal computers or Internet appliances.
"Sears is making sure that the Connected Home is built around the needs of customers," said Bill Kenney, vice president of strategy for Sears Services. "We plan to educate consumers and present only Internet Home products and services that save consumers time or money. Sears also plans to install Internet Connected Home products and services and offer financing with the Sears Card. This Internet Home will be a perfect setting not only for consumer research, but to help builders envision the potential of the Internet Home.
"There's no easy process for builders to create a Connected Home," Kenney said. "It requires many different vendors to build a Connected Home. Given all the players involved, there's no clear way to communicate or market this offering to home buyers.
"Calls must be made separately to experts in structured wiring, Internet Service Providers, residential gateways, satellite systems, home security systems, computer networking, cable television, lighting, heating and cooling and home theatre," Kenney added. "It's a matter of identifying the best solution for the customer's price range and needs, then choreographing a successful design and installation. Customer satisfaction and the builder's reputation can be jeopardized if any one vendor doesn't handle the installation properly.
"This sponsorship will help Sears learn more about builders' needs related to the Connected Home market. That will assist us in developing our future business plans," Kenney said.
"Sears is playing an important role in making the 'Internet Lifestyle' a reality," said Mike Moone, group vice president and general manager, Cisco's Consumer Line of Business. "Our goal is to educate consumers and develop the ecosystem required to move the home networking industry forward. Our relationship with Sears puts us one step closer to reaching that goal."
Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) is a leading U.S. retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of nearly $40 billion. The company serves families across the country through approximately 860 full-line department stores, more than 2,100 specialized retail locations, and a variety of online offerings accessible through the company's Web site, www.sears.com .
This press release includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, including the risks associated with acceptance of the Internet Home model by consumers, competition from other providers, technological challenges, and other factors. Sears intends the forward-looking statements in this release to speak only as of the time of this release and does not undertake to update or revise these projections as more information becomes available.
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Contact: Media, Larry Costello of Sears, Roebuck and Co., 847-286-9036,
or pager, 800-759-8888, PIN 7279964