Sears Builds Home Improvement Site

NEW YORK After two years of beta testing, Sears Holdings Corp. has finally switched on, a site designed to help consumers with home improvement projects.

The site went live today, and Sears Holdings — which owns Land’s End, Kmart and Sears — is positioning it as a one-stop online destination for home-related projects. This will also serve as Sears’ main selling point to differentiate from other home improvement portals, said Jim Hilt, vp of divisional holdings for Sears. He argued that while many do-it-yourself sites already exist, only a few actually give homeowners the motivation and resources to succeed.

“It’s not just about giving [homeowners] another place to store information or keep track of stuff, but . . . to help them actually do it,” Hilt said. is organized into five resources: lists, projects, answers, manuals and inventory — all of which were derived from talking to consumers. “These are core things that people do to actively manage their homes every day, week and month,” Hilt said.

The site also includes tips on specific projects, and allows users to share ideas with fellow homeowners on Twitter.

Sears Holdings is relying on word of mouth, social media and home enthusiast blogs to build buzz. Likewise, the company is driving traffic to via e-mails to customers who’ve made a significant home furnishings or equipment purchase. Search advertising also played a key role in the site’s early stages, Hilt said. In the last six months alone, for example, the site had 3.2 million unique visitors.

Moving forward, Sears Holdings plans to expand the site by offering tools for categories outside of the home and “expanding the depth and level of experience” of its experts, Hilt said.

Sears Holdings spent $575 million in U.S. measured media last year, excluding online, and approximately $218 million through June 2009, per Nielsen.

Nielsen Business Media