Sears makes push in connected-home products

Sears is turning its focus on connected home products through the rollout of its new Connected Solutions Shops, which present home automation technologies in a hands-on, immersive format to Shop Your Way customers.

Citing the hundreds of billions in sales projected to be made by the connected home industry in the next five years, Sears made its case for positioning itself as a leading purveyor of smart home innovations.

"With a presence in more than 13 million homes annually, dominance across the appliance, fitness and tools categories and knowledgeable associates, Sears is uniquely positioned to lead this category," said Jim Pearse, VP consumer electronics for Sears Holdings. "We are presenting products 'up and running' enabling our customers and Shop Your Way members to discover and learn how they connect, work and fit into their daily lives. No one else in retail is doing this today."

Sears customers will be able to learn to program a connected garage door opener, as well as test out smart thermostats, lighting controls, smart watches, fitness products, home monitoring cameras and more.

"Many of our members are aware of 'smart' devices or 'home automation' products but don't fully understand how they are used to make their lives better," said Craig LaRosa, DVP in-store experience and design for Sears Holdings. "Connected Solutions offers an entertaining and interactive environment to learn about the products and our dedicated sales team is ready to help customers develop solutions that are relevant to them."

The Connected Solutions shops have already opened in three Chicago-area pilot locations: Schaumburg, Vernon Hills and Oakbrook, Illinois.