Shoppers in Milwaukee, Cincinnati and Indianapolis are noticing changes as they enter selected Sears department stores. The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based retailer is testing a new store format at 13 locations in the three cities. The stores offer wider aisles, brighter lighting, shopping carts and customer service and information centers.

Other features of the prototype stores include a computer center where customers can take classes, read e-mail, and fax or prepare presentations. Wall-mounted pagers and scanners are also available to help customers with any questions. For refreshments, customers can go to in-store Cafe Roebuck, a new addition for the retailer.