Sears testing new store format tied to online shopping

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Sears Holdings Corp. is testing a new store format that has one foot in online shopping and the other in bricks and mortar retail. 
MyGofer “is a completely new shopping experience that offers the best of online and bricks and mortar,” said Brenda Storch, a company spokeswoman.
The concept is more than a buy online and pick up in store strategy, Storch continued. Customers can place orders via the MyGofer Web site, by phone or at one of the terminals in the store lobby. At the time of order, they can also choose whether to pick up their items immediately, in several hours or in a few days. Shoppers can also choose to have items delivered to their homes.
The MyGofer store had a soft opening earlier in May in Joliet, IL, and then officially opened for business today. Storch wouldn't comment on whether any other locations are planned.
MyGofer will use the Web site to help tailor the merchandise selection to meet the needs of customers in Joliet, Storch explained. A wide assortment of products is available to order, including daily essentials, consumables, consumer electronics, sportswear and appliances. There are tens of thousands of items within a variety of budget ranges.
On each page of the Web site, customers find a “mythoughts” button that will allow them to provide feedback on the site as well as the types of products they want to have available. “Over time, we will be able to tailor the assortment based on the needs of customers in Joliet,” said Storch.
The Web site also features a shopping list function and an order center that keeps customers' order history.
Most of the store itself is dedicated to warehouse space. A store lobby features shopping terminals and a gift bar featuring gift ideas within a variety of price points. The assortment in the store will evolve based on what customers buy and request. Items not warehoused on site will be available through various Sears Holding's distribution centers.
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