Sears is loath to invest in its physical stores but has built a collection of “shop your way” online and mobile services as a high margin substitute, according to an article on WSJ.com. The article notes that Sears’ e-commerce division boasts 180 employees, and has boosted its revenues by “double digits” in the past two years with products like MyGofer and Sears Marketplaces, earning $2.7 billion, or 6 percent of total company sales.
Sears Marketplace, similar to other marketplaces established by Amazon and eBay (and coming soon from Wal-Mart), collects commissions of 7 percent to 20 percent from retail partners. The division, however, recently lost Online President Jim Barr, who had been recruited in 2008 from Microsoft. Moreover, no mention is made of ServiceLive, a ServiceMagic-like home-and-trade leads service launched in beta last year.