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Sears, Bob Vila Plan E-Commerce Site

Sears, Roebuck and Co. said it will create an e-commerce home improvement joint venture called BobVila.com with television personality and home improvement expert Bob Vila.

Vila has been a Sears spokesman since 1989, which is a relationship that will continue after the formation of BobVila.com. Also, Sears has sponsored "Bob Vila's Home Again," a nationally syndicated television show, since 1989.

The Web site will initially be majority-owned by Sears. Vila's current Internet site, also located at BobVila.com, will remain online until the third quarter, when the new site is expected to be operational.

The site will provide ideas and plans for home improvement projects, as well as help visitors find contractors and the proper tools.

The joint venture will seek strategic partners and alliances to round out content, technology and e-commerce offerings, Sears said.

Sears is increasingly embracing the world of e-commerce; only last Monday the company announced plans to form a joint venture with Oracle Corp. and French retailer Carrefour Supermarche SA to create a global business-to-business online supply exchange for the retail industry.