August 5, 2004, 12:00 AM gets ready to expand into clothing and sporting goods will add products to its assortment this fall, including apparel and sporting goods, the company said at eTail this week. Its sporting goods products will come through a deal with outsourcer GSI Commerce.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor will add products to its assortment this fall, including apparel and sporting goods, Bill Christopher, director of customer care, told the eTail 2004 East conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL, this week. The web site of Sears, Roebuck and Co. will add clothing in the next couple of months, Christopher said, responding to customer information that the company received by analyzing what shoppers were doing at the web site, particularly the terms they were searching on. “23% of customers using the site were looking for clothing, 13% wanted shoes,” Christopher said. Christopher said he believes that apparel purchases will be popular buy-online-pick-up-at-the-store items.

In addition, will start selling sporting goods online in November through a deal with GSI Commerce Inc. that will bring it 20,000 SKUs, Christopher said.

The GSI deal is related to a vendor-direct initiative that includes 50 relationships so far and that are expected to account for $25 million in online sales this year, Christopher said. Under those arrangements, a third party, usually the product manufacturer, warehouses the items and fulfills orders.

Expanding assortment, which could attract new customers, feeds into one of the major benefits Sears has obtained from its web site, No. 3 in Internet Retailer’s Top 300 Guide to online web sites. Christopher told attendees that 50% of online sales are incremental sales.



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