- Sears Holdings' Shop Your Way customer rewards unit is expanding its partnership with ride-sharing service Uber from its initial two markets to 23 more markets.
- Uber passengers who link their accounts to Shop Your Way can earn unlimited Shop Your Way points — up to $2 in points for every ride. Points can be redeemed online or in-store at Sears, Kmart, Lands' End or shopyourway.com.
- Since the program rolled out in New York City and Chicago in late September, more than 10,000 Shop Your Way members have linked their accounts to the Uber app, collectively earning more than $250,000 in points.
At launch, this program seemed an odd match of a dying retailer and a shared economy juggernaut. However, Sears arguably was leveraging the most valuable piece of its otherwise flailing empire — its Shop Your Way unit and rewards program. The move appears to be paying off.
Sears Holdings' Senior Vice President of Customer Experience and Integrated Retail Leena Munjal said in a press release that Black Friday was the biggest points-issuing day in November for the Uber program. She noted that some individual Uber riders already had earned more than $300 in points. That many Shop Your Way points can buy an awful lot from Sears and its other company stores.
Moreover, the alignment also benefits Uber drivers, who can link their accounts and earn points. Uber driver-partners who have enrolled earned $1,000 in points in addition to their Uber earnings, and also receive 50% off all oil changes and 30% back in points on all labor at Sears Auto Centers.
The partnership is producing, and so there is real evidence to drive this expansion into new markets, and not just a hope that expanding will help it get noticed. Sears is far from out of the woods and even an association with Uber may not be enough to revive the company, but the retailer appears to have hit upon something that is working, and that it can proliferate. Having this program in 25 major metropolitan areas will only help the overall rewards program grow, and that undoubtedly will help Sears in the future, whether it continues to build around Shop Your Way, or seeks to profit from it in another way.