Sears opens 'Second Life' showroom

Virtual showroom lets customers do tasks such as changing cabinet and countertop colors in a kitchen and organizing a garage.

Sears Holdings is looking to connect with consumers in a new way and drive sales of home goods by opening a showroom on online universe Second Life.

The operator of Sears and Kmart stores is unveiling "Sears Virtual Home," a prototype showroom in Second Life, on Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Second Life has more than 2 million registered users and an established economy and currency. The equivalent of more than a half a million dollars change hands there daily.

At the Sears virtual showroom, customers can do such things as change cabinet and countertop colors in a kitchen and organize a garage by customizing storage products.

Sears said it hopes consumers will eventually be able to redesign areas of their own homes from its online showroom by selecting washers, tools and furniture.

The company faces fierce competition in the sale of appliances and other home goods from retailers including Home Depot and Lowe's.

For the third quarter that ended October 28, Sears Holdings reported sharply higher profit on complicated derivative trades and cost cuts, but said same-store sales fell 4.8 percent amid declines in home decor and lawn and garden sales.

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