New Sears Venue Combines In-Person and Online Experiences

Sears' Craftsman Experience is a retail store with a dual identity. Built with both an in-person and an Internet audience in mind, the downtown Chicago venue offers hands-on project stations, live demos and clinics showcasing Craftsman tools.

Online, the Craftsman Experience, which opens August 26, will stream special events live via the Web and serve as the studio for an Internet-based radio station.

"This is the latest in a series of strategic moves by each of our brands--Craftsman, DieHard and Kenmore--to get closer to our customers," said Guenther Trieb, president, Craftsman Brand, Sears Holdings. "The 'Experience' expands access to Craftsman for existing and new, younger customers. We've already had success with customer outreach--Craftsman and DieHard have launched viral videos which dramatically demonstrate how our products can endure torture tests. And the Kenmore Live Study has driven its fan base on Facebook to over 100,000--a fan number that Craftsman recently surpassed as well."

In-person visitors will find activities and clinics at project stations highlighting woodworking tools, automotive and mechanics' tools, and lawn and garden products. Project experts will walk visitors through the features and benefits of various tools and showcase everyday applications.

The Experience's Internet-based radio station will broadcast live from the venue, updating online visitors about events there and featuring interviews with special guests and project experts. Online visitors can call in or participate in online Q&A's during live broadcasts.

In addition, when the Craftsman Experience is open, clinics and special programs will be distributed online via streaming video. Sessions will also be available on through archived footage.
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