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Sears Adds Appliance Parts to Its Web Site

April 14, 1999|ABIGAIL GOLDMAN, retail reporter

Sears, Roebuck & Co. announced an addition to its Web site that the retailer hopes will have shoppers coming to see its harder side.

Expanding on a parts service that had been available by phone, the company launched PartsDirect, which makes available on the Web site 4.2 million appliance parts from 400 manufacturers.

Those who do their own home repairs can also use the site to look up owners' manuals, identify needed parts and attempt to follow online diagrams that are complete with zooming capabilities.

The online parts shop follows Sears' push to expand its e-commerce in hard goods. The store in 1997 began selling more than 2,000 Craftsman tools on its Web site and will begin selling major appliances on the Web in the next few months.

Moves to bolster the Web site come at a tough time for the nation's second-largest retailer. Sales have been flat to modest at stores open at least a year at a time when other big retailers have experienced double-digit same-store sales. Same-store sales are considered among the best measures of retail performance.

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