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Sears Transforms the Online Shopping Experience with Help From IBM and My Virtual Model

Combination of 3D Visual Search and To-Scale Virtual Models Creates More Realistic Online Shopping Experience

ARMONK, New York & CHICAGO, Illinois & MONTREAL, Quebec - 17 Sep 2008: Sears (NASDAQ: SHLD), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and My Virtual Model, Inc. today unveiled a first-of-its-kind 3D visual search and e-commerce capability for Sears.com that will significantly improve and enhance a consumer’s online shopping experience. Sears is the first retailer to apply both a visual search and virtual model to an entire catalogue online.

Watch a brief Flash demonstration of the new Sears.com

The updated Sears site, powered by IBM WebSphere Commerce and My Virtual Model, will allow consumers to recreate their in-store shopping experience online by enabling them to search for merchandise using images versus words, and to virtually “try on” selected items using a personalized model of themselves to ensure that the style, color, pattern and fit are right before purchasing.

Sears.com image

The Sears site will enable shoppers to search on a specific style – such as long-sleeve tunic shirts or cropped cargo pants – and find products from the company’s expansive catalogue of clothing, shoes and accessories using 3D images versus words. Shoppers can create countless combinations using a virtual model they can build and personalize to match their measurements – height, weight, body shape – and a headshot photo to ensure that the style, color, pattern and fit are right. The 3D angle allows users to view garments on themselves from the front, side and back, and shoppers can also email images of their looks to friends and family to help them make final purchasing decisions.

“Sears is transforming the online shopping experience by offering consumers cutting edge visual search and virtual model capabilities,” said Rob Mills, vice president, Sears Online Business Unit. “By allowing shoppers to visually search for and view items in 3D, to see how they’ll actually look on themselves in various combinations, and virtually share their finds with friends and family, Sears is providing shoppers with a superior social and e-commerce experience that we believe will increase satisfaction and loyalty.”

“The rapid changes to the Internet have radically affected modern society impacting the way we interact and do business,” said Sandy Carter, vice president, SOA and WebSphere, IBM. “Today’s customers are not only ready for 3D online shopping, they are demanding it. The combination of IBM WebSphere Commerce with Visual Search 3D graphics and consumer driven search parameters such as clothing type, color, material, and price range, deliver a shopping experience unlike anything previously available.”

“This solution is clean, elegant, and fun and will change the way the customers shop and the way that retailers present their ever-increasing collections to customers,” said Louise Guay, president and founder of MVM. “Consumers who use visual search can define their search and style using detailed 3D images of the actual garments, creating personalized clothing ensembles and dragging-and-dressing pieces directly onto their virtual model to see how they actually mix and match.”

IBM leads the industry in helping clients to transform their business processes. A key reason for this leadership is a unique portfolio of industry-specific solutions that draw upon IBM’s extensive services, software and hardware capabilities. IBM clients are able to rapidly deploy these pre-configured solutions into their existing IT infrastructures because they are based on open standards. These solutions, such as Visual Search, expand upon the IBM Retail Integration Framework, which enables a services-oriented approach to implementing retail solutions via pre-tested patterns and scenarios, supported by a rich set of retail-specific, SOA-based assets.

This Sears deployment represents the first collaboration between IBM WebSphere Commerce and MVM. The two companies have since planned a deepening of their relationship around WebSphere Commerce and the MVM virtual model and visual search products.

Sears.com plans to go live with Visual Search in late October.

About IBM

For more information on IBM’s retail solutions visit: www.ibm.com/retail.

About My Virtual Model
Montreal-based My Virtual Model Inc. has been setting the standard for virtual identity since 2000, with innovative products, including virtual changing rooms, personalized virtual models which can be shared online, home decoration simulators, and virtual weight loss applications. For more information visit: www.mvm.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 2,400 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the United States and Canada, which includes approximately 926 full-line and 1,100 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. The company is the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 13 million service calls made annually. For more information, visit the Sears, Roebuck Web site at www.sears.com or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at www.searsholdings.com.

Contact(s) information

Chris Rubsamen
IBM Media Relations
914-766-1803
rubsamen@us.ibm.com

Beth Pagano
Euro RSCG Worldwide PR for Sears
847-286-7066
beth.pagano@eurorscg.com

Gregory Saumier Finch
My Virtual Model
514-523-9966 ext. 410
Gregory@mvm.com

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