Sears to open new stores centred on its Kenmore brand

Embattled US department-store icon Sears is about to open three new-format stores.

Rescued from bankruptcy by its former chairman Eddie Lampert last month, the company closed a further 300-odd stores – those on top of the 1700 it has shuttered since April 2007.

It has just 425 remaining now.

But in its new trimmed-down guise, the company plans to open an unspecified number of new shops which will not stock any apparel, focusing instead on categories such as appliances, home services and mattresses.

According to The Associated Press, the first three of the new stores – branded Sears Home & Life – will open on Memorial Day (May 27). They will open in Overland Park, Kansas; Lafayette, Louisiana; and Anchorage, Alaska.

A tenth the size of Sears’ traditional big-box department stores, the new ones will range in footprint from 10,000sqft to 15000sqft (900sqm to 1400sqm).

Sears and Kmart chief brand officer Peter Boutros declined to specify how many of the new-format outlets are planned across the US, but he did confirm sites had been secured.

A core feature of the Sears Home & Life outlets will be the company’s Kenmore brand, arguably the loss-making retailer’s greatest asset. That brand is likely to be extended beyond appliances into categories such as kitchen accessories and even crockery.

“We need to instill confidence that we are open for business,” Boutros said in an interview with The Associated Press.

This story first appeared on sister site Inside Retail Asia.

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