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Sears seeks retail innovation from Silicon Valley

Sears is showing the retail world that it's serious in its efforts for a technology turnaround. The retailer announced today the winners of its Startup + Developer Challenge, a code-a-thon designed to foster digital innovation and enhance the Shop Your Way interactive shopping experience, the company said in a news release.

More than 150 participants competed throughout three days for the chance to see their application brought to life by Sears, with Team Omega Ortega landing the grand prize (a test budget from Sears) for The Chore Score.

The Chore Score app is proposed as a way to incentivize children to do their chores. With their parents' guidance, kids can set up a chore list, track their progress and earn rewards for doing their chores, which can be redeemed in-store or within the online app.

"We came to the Sears Startup + Developer Challenge with a desire to build something that successfully drives engagement and sales for Sears," Tom Ortega, the team's founder, said in the release. "After hearing from the Sears team on Friday evening, we came up with the app idea on Saturday morning. Our small team was then able to execute on this idea in under 36 hours. Building mobile apps quickly is what we do, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a great brand like Sears."

Imran Jooma, executive vice president and president, Marketing, Online, Pricing and Financial Services at Sears Holdings, said the code-a-thon represented the retailer's transformation into "the world's greatest integrated retailer." ...more

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