SEARS AND KMART REWARDING CUSTOMERS WHO “STASH THEIR CASH” FOR THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS
Retailers Help Americans Budget for the Season with the Christmas Club Card Program
Hoffman Estates, Ill., (August 17, 2009) – The holiday season is a time to celebrate with family and friends, not to worry about how to pay for holiday gifts. With that in mind, Sears and Kmart are helping customers plan ahead and save – so they can more fully enjoy the holidays – by bringing them the Sears and Kmart Christmas Club card.
The Christmas Club card allows shoppers to save ahead for their holiday purchases at Sears and Kmart months before hitting the stores or surfing the Internet. Starting now, Sears and Kmart Christmas Club card users can put aside some funds on a regular basis through November 14 to add value to this unique gift card and receive a special reward when they do.
When activated between now and October 31, Christmas Club card users will earn a three percent reward – up to a maximum of $100 – based upon the value they have on their Christmas Club cards on November 14. To activate cards or add additional value at any time, customers can visit any Sears or Kmart store location, or online at www.sears.com/christmasclub or www.kmart.com/christmasclub.
According to a recent survey* commissioned by Sears and Kmart, the troubled economy has Americans worrying about their finances more than ever before. Nearly six in ten (58%) are more concerned about how they are going to pay for their holiday shopping this year than they were last year.
Susan Ehrlich, President, Financial Services, Sears Holdings, says feedback from their customers prompted the retailer to take action. “We heard that our customers were concerned about how they were going to pay for their holiday shopping this year and we wanted to provide a way to ease that concern,” she said. “The Christmas Club card provides a unique way for Sears and Kmart customers to start planning for their holiday shopping ahead of the hustle and bustle of the season and earn a reward for planning and saving ahead.”
More than half of Americans (56%) say they plan to save money for the winter holidays this year. In fact, nearly one-third (32%) of these folks already started stashing away some funds and another 38 percent plan to start saving cash this month or next. Why the emphasis on saving now? It’s clear that shoppers have changing priorities this year – nearly three-quarters (72%) plan to do things differently this holiday season, whether it’s spending less on gifts (57%), shopping at more affordable stores (53%), or planning and setting a shopping budget ahead of time (49%). One priority that has not changed: Americans’ generous desire to give gifts to more people, even in very challenging economic times. Seventy percent of Americans admit they’d like to give gifts to more people, but think they might not be able to afford it.
As Americans seek to save more and charge less (33% of those who plan to do things differently this year say they plan to use their credit cards less this holiday season), the Christmas Club card program is an ideal solution for holiday shoppers on any budget. By encouraging Sears and Kmart customers to plan ahead and save for their holiday gift shopping, this flexible and rewarding budgeting card is designed to help solve shoppers’ anxiety about paying for the holiday gifts that they want to purchase.
“Our customers have been pretty clear about what’s most important to them this holiday season,” noted Ehrlich. “They want more ways to provide the very best holiday they can, and they want to do that in a responsible way. When they save ahead with the Christmas Club card from Sears and Kmart, our customers can really enjoy the holidays without the worry of having to deal with an expensive bill later.”
Starting, adding value to, and redeeming the Christmas Club card is designed to be as easy and flexible as possible. Customers can start their Christmas Club cards with as little as five dollars, and they can add value as often as they want – at any one of Sears Holdings approximately 3,900 full-line and specialty retail stores, or online at www.sears.com or www.kmart.com.
As with all Sears and Kmart gift cards, there are no fees associated with the Christmas Club card, and the value on the card will not expire. Cash or credit refunds are not allowed except where required by law. All of our gift cards can be redeemed at Sears, Kmart, Lands’ End and The Great Indoors store locations, as well as online at www.sears.com, www.kmart.com, www.mygofer.com, and www.landsend.com.
Sears and Kmart seek to offer their customers the broadest range of purchasing flexibility available to their customers. As with layaway and the full range of Sears and Kmart credit financing offers available for our customers, the Christmas Club card provides one more way to Shop Your Way — and to be rewarded with up to $100 for planning ahead!
About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation’s fifth largest broadline retailer with approximately 3,900 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, home electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands’ End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has Martha Stewart Everyday products, which are offered exclusively in the U.S. by Kmart. We are the nation’s largest provider of home services, with more than 12 million service calls made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. For more information, visit Sears Holdings’ Web site at www.searsholdings.com.
About Kelton Research
Kelton Research is a full service market research consultancy with offices in Los Angeles and New York. Kelton serves as a strategic partner to both Fortune 500 corporations and smaller companies, utilizing a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies to drive tactical recommendations for clients. For more information about Kelton’s services, please visit www.keltonresearch.com
Methodological Notes on the Sears/Kmart Holiday Survey
The Sears/Kmart Holiday Survey was conducted by Kelton Research August 3 – 7, 2009 using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
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*An online survey of 1,000 Nationally Representative Americans ages 18 and older, conducted by Kelton Research between August 3rd and August 7th, 2009.