Sears SPIN Case Study

About Sears

With revenues of $31 billion, Sears Holding Corporation is one of the largest retailers in the United States. The main source of Sears revenue is their chain of around 4,000 retail outlets.


Back in 2009, Sears started looking deeper into Internet technologies that potentially could drastically increase their revenue. The goal was to take on Amazon and become its main competitor. To achieve this goal, Sears would need to replace a number of ineffective systems and processes in support of Sears online stores with a unified system.


Exadel developed SPIN (Sears Product Information Network) as a back-end web application that allows Sears employees to manage the content of Sears web stores. SPIN provides a comprehensive suite of tools for a variety of tasks. These tools provide intuitive, customizable, powerful actions for different types of users to manage any aspect of product publishing as well offering numerous support functions such as taxonomy, brand, and user management. SPIN provides a flexible authorization model to allow managers to create groups and permissions governing access levels for external vendors and corporate users, such as taxonomy developers or merchants. SPIN also provides integration with many other corporate systems.

Here’s a quick summary of what SPIN can do.

  • User Management
  • Taxonomy
  • Brand Management
  • Curated Content
  • Item Management
  • Rules for Manipulating Items
  • Permission-based Reporting

The SPIN technology stack has three layers. The client-side layer of the stack uses HTML5, jQuery, JavaScriptMVC, Bootstrap, LESS, and Google Closure. The server-side layer consists of Java 8, Jersey, WebServices, and FSQueue. For the database layer, Exadel used MySQL, Hadoop, and Cassandra.


The roll-out of SPIN allowed the replacement of many ineffective systems and processes in support of Sears online stores. It centralized all web store management in one application. It has saved a substantial amount of money that was previously expended to support old systems. The main benefit, however, has been the radical reduction in the time spent on data management.

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