Ordering IT

Sears to turn over IT-infrastructure operations to Computer Sciences Corp.

Paul McDougall, Editor At Large, InformationWeek

March 19, 2004

1 Min Read

Sears, Roebuck and Co. says it expects to hand over basic IT operations to Computer Sciences Corp. to focus on more strategic business-technology initiatives. Under a deal worth up to $2 billion over 10 years, CSC will provide Sears with voice and data networks and help-desk and procurement support. CSC is expected to hire the bulk of Sears' 260 infrastructure-support personnel as part of the contract. Sears and CSC are expected to sign the deal in the second quarter.

Sales at Sears' stores were down 2.5% to $12.3 billion last year from $12.5 billion in 2002, and the retailer says it expects only single-digit revenue growth in 2004. The company has been looking for better ways to market the more upscale Lands' End brand it acquired in 2002 for $1.86 billion, and a spokesman says the outsourcing deal will let Sears concentrate on initiatives such as integrating the Lands' End and Sears.com Web sites by year's end.

Sears also is testing software that will enable it to ship apparel from its distribution centers to stores on an as-needed basis, to prevent excess inventory at some locations and shortages at others. Sears earlier this year said it would install 37,000 Internet-enabled IBM cashier terminals to improve customer service.

About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Paul McDougall is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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