Starting Friday, members of Sears’ loyalty program can earn points toward purchases at Sears and Kmart by logging into the Hoffman Estates-based retailer’s fitness site, FitStudio.com, and tracking their physical activity.
The Points for Progress program works with fitness apps and devices — the device must be a Fitbit or BodyMedia brand, both sold by Sears — and with Netpulse-enabled fitness equipment at more than 500 gyms in the U.S. and Canada.
Sears, though struggling and posting years of sales declines, is one of the nation’s biggest sellers of treadmills, elliptical trainers and home-gym setups, partly because it’s the exclusive retailer of NordicTrack other than NordicTrack itself.
Now Sears is positioning itself to be a go-to site for wearable fitness technology.
“We’ve seen Fitbit become such a huge product category. Fitness-tracking devices were among the biggest gifts of the holiday season,” says Sears spokesman Brian Hanover. “We feel this program gives that much more incentive to use those devices and apps to be rewarded.”
The FitStudio site is passcode protected, so the information is private, he says. The programs are free.
FitStudio shows users their daily activity, progress toward goals, points they are earning and goal completions. It features exercises, workouts and articles on fitness and nutrition.
Almost any activity on FitStudio.com earns points in Sears’ loyalty program, called Shop Your Way, and there is no minimum required for users to redeem points.
Among ways to earn points are:
—Join the #FitIn14 Challenge: Users earn $5 in points (5,000 points) for every 14 miles walked or run in 2014.
—Get social: Interact with other members in the community and share progress via social media.
—Compete: Sign up for challenges and compete with other members via a leader board.
Sears officials have said the company has invested “several hundred” million dollars in the Shop Your Way program to transition 124-year-old Sears into an omnichannel, in which shoppers can go online or in stores to earn points to redeem to buy goods.
The fitness tracking announcement follows a similar move by Deerfield-based Walgreen Co., which recently introduced a program for Walgreens loyalty-program users to track their activity in exchange for points that can be redeemed for in-store cash.