HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., June 23 /PRNewswire/ -- In an ongoing effort to help its customers, Sears is extending its layaway program to include home appliances for the very first time. The announcement comes on the heels of the government's "Cash for Appliances" stimulus plan, which is winding down and offers cash rebates to consumers for purchasing EPA-certified, ENERGY STAR® qualified appliances.
"For customers who haven't taken advantage of the government rebate program, Sears' layaway presents the opportunity to purchase more efficient appliances, while managing their budget," said Susan Ehrlich, president, Financial Services, Sears Holdings. "Having been recognized as the 2010 ENERGY STAR Retail Partner of the Year, we continue to help American homes become more energy-efficient. Programs such as layaway offer a smart solution by making big-ticket items more affordable."
According to Ehrlich, offering layaway for appliances comes as shoppers look for smarter ways to save money and better manage their family budget. "Layaway helps shoppers budget their purchases into four easy payments over an eight-week period – all for as low as $5 initiation fee," she said.
According to a recent national survey conducted by Sears, more than 33 percent of people said they would consider using layaway for home appliance purchases. "Our customer spoke, so we listened," said Susan Ehrlich. "Launching layaway for home appliances is just part of Sears' ongoing commitment to offering its customers innovative ways to shop. Whether they're preparing for a home renovation or simply updating to energy-efficient models, purchasing home appliances on layaway makes shopping easier, more affordable and interest free."
Consumers can use Sears' layaway year round for every shopping occasion. A down payment of $15 or 20 percent is required at the start of the contract; bi-weekly payments are then made for the length of the contract. The initiation fee on all new layaway contracts is just $5. Consumers can also visit www.sears.com/layaway to shop using online layaway and manage payments. Cancellation fees may apply.
Sears also announced plans to roll out an extended layaway program which will give shoppers more time to complete payment on contracts. The extended layaway program will launch in stores this fall.
In addition to Sears' layaway program, Sears recently launched "The Big Switch", an initiative helping families make the switch to five million ENERGY STAR qualified appliances. The goal is to help families remove and recycle millions of inefficient appliances from the energy grid for good, which could help them save more than $2,500 on their utility bills. For more information, go to www.searsbigswitch.com.
About Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Sears, Roebuck and Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (Nasdaq: SHLD), is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. Sears, Roebuck offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,300 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the United States and Canada, which includes approximately 929 full-line and approximately 1,200 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears, Roebuck also offers a variety of merchandise and services through sears.com, landsend.com, and specialty catalogs. Sears, Roebuck offers consumers leading proprietary brands including Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. Sears, Roebuck is the 2010 ENERGY STAR Retail Partner of the Year. The company is the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 12 million service calls made annually. For more information, visit the Sears, Roebuck website at http://www.sears.com or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at http://www.searsholdings.com.
About Sears Home Appliances
Sears is the nation's leading appliance retailer with the largest selection - over 4400 models. Only Sears sells the top 10 brands, including Kenmore, the nation's leading appliance brand. Sears always beats the competition's price, guaranteed, up to 30 days. Sears offers worry-free 1-year service, guaranteed and free help and support on all brands serviced by Sears 24/7 by phone. Sears provides next day delivery on over 1600 models - that's five times more than any national competitor. In March 2009, Sears launched the online ENERGY STAR Rebate Center - a program to help educate Americans about the millions of dollars in rebates that are available for ENERGY STAR-rated products and make it faster to receive these rebates. Sears has demonstrated its commitment to increasing America's energy efficiency through its actions over more than 10 years.
Sears sells more ENERGY STAR-rated appliances than any other retailer. In fact, in 2008, Sears was the first retailer to sell more than 3.1 million ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances from the nation's top brands, including Kenmore, the nation's leading appliance brand. In 2008 alone, Kenmore ENERGY STAR-rated appliances helped save America nearly 700 million Kilowatt hours, over four billion gallons of water, and over $100 million dollars.
*National Omnibus Survey, Synovate, April 2010.
SOURCE Sears, Roebuck and Co.