The headlines make it seem like something to celebrate. Sears (NYSE:S) adds clothing and home furnishings to its online presence. But here's my question: What the heck took it so long? If Sears had gotten on the ball sooner, maybe it would've gotten a share of the online purchases that have gone to competitors like J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP).

True, Sears has had other products on the Net for a while, but every little bit helps. At least shareholders should hope so. The firm needs something to jump-start the dwindling revenues reported lately. Sure, August was bad, but so was the entire quarter before that. Oh yeah, and the one before that.

So while we're hearing a lot about so-called sales "disappointments" at bellwether competitors like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT), the fact is that their failures still add up to sales increases, though perhaps slimmer than the Street would like. The once-formidable tools section sure can't measure up to the competition from Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Lowe's (NYSE:LOW).

How much is Sears' upgraded Web service likely to contribute? It's tough to get a firm idea since the company doesn't break out aggregate online sales in its quarterly reports. But recently acquired Lands' End is one of the few growth segments that Sears can boast, putting up a 49% revenue increase in 2003. If management can give the rest of the apparel and home furnishings lines the Lands' End treatment, it might be enough to pull Sears' sales up from their long, slow dive.

Unfortunately, this stock's about as appealing as the store. Sears trades for about 14 times its full-year earnings estimates. That looks plenty rich for a company that's one of the only major retailers to miss out on recent months' consumer buying sprees.

Seth Jayson still wonders why his new Craftsman drill press didn't come with that lifetime warranty, and he knows why he no longer buys tools at Sears. At the time of publication, he had no position in any company mentioned. View his Fool profile here.