, looking to address a long-festering company issue, announced today at its annual shareholders' meeting that it is ramping up its customer service.
At the meeting, Chairman Edward Lampert said the struggling retailer will spend the remainder of 2009 making an effort to improve customer experience at both its brick-and-mortar outlets and its Web sites.
This, of course, has been the recently stated goal of many retailers, especially department stores like
, which have developed reputations for poor personalized service and less-than-engaging Web sites.
Lampert also said that the company, which owns Sears and K-Mart, will have more than enough access to credit markets and the means to generate additional cash if necessary. Its $4 billion revolving credit expires in March and has been a concern to investors and analysts.
The company also plans to boost brands like Craftsman and Kenmore during the year, and highlight home-and-garden products.
Over the past year Sears Holding has shuttered Sears and Kmart stores and has taken other steps to reduce costs, such as tightening inventory control.
Shares of the company were up 3% in afternoon trading to $62.14.
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