Kmart And Sears Survey Reveals Seasonal Decorating Trends For 2014

Survey Says Decorating Marks the Start of the Holiday, Sweepstakes Rewards Consumers for Sharing Photos of Home Decor

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Nov. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As soon as the first tree, light or stocking goes up – the holiday season has begun. According to a recent survey conducted by Kmart and Sears to gather insights about America's decorating habits, 38 percent of Americans agree that putting up the first decoration signifies the official start of Christmas. And what is the most essential decoration for the holidays? According to those surveyed, it's not strings of outdoor lights or even a nativity set. More than half (58 percent) said that the Christmas tree is the most essential holiday decoration.

KMART AND SEARS SURVEY REVEALS SEASONAL DECORATING TRENDS FOR 2014

In line with the importance of the Christmas tree, Sears has expanded its line of cashmere trees this holiday with sizes and options to fit any room. And in addition to the cashmere tree trend, this year, Sears is offering the exclusive Color Switch Plus™ 7.5' Christmas Fraser Fir Pre-Lit Tree. It enables 7 functions - twinkling, firefly, pulsating, slow-fade, flash, steady and color changing; plus 8 colors - warm white, multi, red, green, blue, purple, yellow and amber. Color Switch Plus turns any living room into a light show with the touch of a button.

"This annual survey gives us key insights into the minds of our customers," said James Alt, President of Seasonal and Outdoor Living, Sears Holdings. "Our survey results show that nearly half of Americans want to purchase their holiday decor in store, at a large retailer this time of year. We're pleased to be that go-to retailer for their decorating needs with top celebrity lines, exclusive new products and the latest and greatest in holiday tree and lighting technology."

Nearly 25 percent of Americans choose decorating as their favorite holiday activity, with listening to holiday music and shopping as other favorites. Ty Pennington, celebrity designer, suggests making decorating a family affair.

"Christmas is a time for togetherness, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate than actually getting the family involved in the act of decorating," said Pennington. "While the family may have different roles, there are always decorating tasks for everyone."

For the outdoor decorator and dads, the new DieHard™ LED lights from Sears are a must; the lights come from the trusted DieHard brand and offer reliability and a five year warranty. Those with more influence over the indoor theme will enjoy the three different Donner and Blitzen tree décor lines from Sears, which come in red, gold and white.

Decorating styles and themes are also changing. Last year, the majority of Americans polled (45 percent) described their decorating style as "colorful," while this year, the majority surveyed (41 percent) consider their 2014 style as "classic."   When it comes to decorating, defining a personal style is important, according Kmart celebrity designer Jaclyn Smith.

"Before heading to the store to select your decor, decide on a theme that suits your family's style. Whether you are going for a traditional or contemporary holiday theme, consistency with colors and styles can transform a home for the holidays," said Smith. "In fact, I've even had themed trees in various rooms that fit the room decor, and it's also important to add personal touches, such as your own keepsakes, to complete your style."  

When asked how much money participants planned to spend, more than one third (34 percent) of Americans expect to spend $100 or more on new holiday decorations this year. And a total of 82 percent of Americans plan to purchase new decorations in 2014. With the remaining majority of Americans planning to spend less than $100 this year, Kmart and Sears help make each dollar go further. Kmart's designer lines from Jaclyn Smith and Sandra Lee continue to be desired and well-priced brands with a high-quality breadth in assortment. Jaclyn Smith'sWinter Wishes and Midnight Clear collections take on a classic look while Sandra Lee's four themes more whimsical in nature. Decorating your tree is as easy as 1,2,3 with Sears' themed ornament lines, which offer already created color scheme options to fit your theme for under $100

The survey asked what influences consumers most when decorating their homes, and more than one-third of Americans (34 percent) are inspired by neighbors' decorations or friends' social media photos.

"Look to your friends and family for ideas and inspiration, but add personal homemade touches to make your look unique," said celebrity designer Sandra Lee. "Have fun mixing and matching old and new. I recommend anything from antique hand-me-down decorations to homemade ornaments from your kids to pair with the new in your home." Her suggested picks from the "Sandra by Sandra Lee" line are the Gilded Gatherings and Winter Radiance ornament collections for extra special tree trimming.

Best Dressed Home Sweepstakes
To celebrate all the fun that comes along with holiday decorating, Kmart and Sears are asking people across America to showcase their "Best Dressed Home" by visiting Kmart.com/Christmas and submitting a picture between now and December 26th. Uploading a photo of their personal decorating style enters participants for a chance to win points from Kmart and Sears through Shop Your Way, an interactive website that connects members with exclusive content, deals and social shopping. The Grand Prize Winner will win 1 million Shop Your Way Points (equivalent to a total of $1,000) and throughout the duration of the sweeps, 60 people will instantly win $50 in Shop Your Way Points. No purchase necessary to enter or win. Go to Shopyourway.com for official rules and details.

New Shopping Offerings Make the Holiday More Merry
When it comes to checking off items on the holiday to-do list, Sears has customers covered with a number of new integrated retail offerings. For starters, Shop Your Way members can take advantage of In-Vehicle Pickup, Return and Exchange in Five – where, through the use of a mobile app, members can coordinate services of their purchases for free, guaranteed in five minutes or less, without leaving their car. The new "Reserve It" service lets Shop Your Way members identify apparel and footwear items in-stock at their local store, place them on hold and then try them on in-store. And, members can also enjoy Expanded Free Store Pickup and Shop Your Way Member Assist, where members can talk to local store associates while shopping online. Kmart and Sears full selection of holiday merchandise is available in-store or online at Kmart.com/Christmas and Sears.com/Christmas.

About Kmart and Sears Holiday Survey
The Kmart and Sears survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+, between November 7 and November 13, 2014, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure a reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population 18+.

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. For the interviews conducted 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.

About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD) is a leading integrated retailer focused on seamlessly connecting the digital and physical shopping experiences to serve our members – wherever, whenever and however they want to shop. Sears Holdings is home to Shop Your Way®, a social shopping platform offering members rewards for shopping at Sears and Kmart as well as with other retail partners across categories important to them. The company operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation, with full-line and specialty retail stores across the United States. For more information, visit www.searsholdings.com.

About Kmart
Kmart, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), is a mass merchandising company and part of Shop Your Way, a social shopping experience where members have the ability to earn points and receive benefits across a wide variety of physical and digital formats through shopyourway.com. Kmart offers customers quality products through a portfolio of exclusive brands that include Sofia by Sofia Vergara, Jaclyn Smith, Joe Boxer, Route 66 and Smart Sense. For more information visit the company's website at www.kmart.com | Sears Holdings Corporation website at www.searsholdings.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/kmart.

About Shop Your Way
Shop Your Way is a free social shopping destination and rewards program offering millions of products, personalized services, and advice. Through a network of retail partners and service providers, members can shop, compare, purchase items and earn points to use on future purchases. Members also enjoy special pricing, exclusive sales, events, access to celebrity brands and sweepstakes. And through the unique social community on shopyourway.com members can research and browse products, create wish lists, poll friends and family and even get advice from experts to help choose the products and services that best meet their needs.

There is no minimum purchase required for Shop Your Way members to redeem points and points can be used toward purchases across countless product categories. Download the free Shop Your Way app available on iTunes or Google Play. By accepting Shop Your Way member benefits and offers, you agree to the Shop Your Way terms and conditions, available atwww.shopyourway.com/terms.

Contact Information:
Larry Costello
Sears Holdings
(847) 286-9036
Larry.Costello@searshc.com

Maureen Murray
Zeno Group for Kmart
(312) 396-4390
Maureen.Murray@zenogroup.com

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