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Lampert: Sears/Kmart becoming a membership store

Hoffman Estates, Ill. - In his annual letter to shareholders, Sears Holdings chairman and ceo Eddie Lampert announced the company is evolving into "a membership store" via its platform.
"Shop Your Way is more than just a typical loyalty program," Lampert wrote in the letter, which was released this morning. "It is a comprehensive platform that transforms customer transactions into relationships and allows us to know our members better and to serve them better as well."
The company today reported that Shop Your Way members accounted for more than 50% of revenues at Sears U.S. and Kmart stores during the fiscal year and fourth quarter.
Shop Your Way members earn points when they shop at Sears or Kmart stores. There are VIP membership levels that kick in based on three total annual spend benchmarks: $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000.
In addition to receiving coupons and pre-sale opportunities, members also participate in sweepstakes. Among the prizes awarded so far: Dream Kitchen Makeovers and trips to concerts and special destinations.
"The transformation to a membership company is not a quick one, and it is not inexpensive. Since launching Shop Your Way Rewards in late 2009, we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in our technology platform, in our associates and in the rewards we have made available to our members," said Lampert. "We are deepening the engagement of our associates behind the program and the attitudes and values of a membership company will pervade our culture."
He did not disclose how many people participate in the program.
Lampert said the company will continue to invest heavily in technology.
"We have the assets to establish a market leading two-day, next-day and same-day capability, by leveraging select current store locations and our warehouses to serve as market delivery centers. The same breadth of assortment will also be available for purchase online and can be picked up in store same day," he said.

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