Sears Brands Go Into Kmart But Not Vice Versa
By George Anderson
It was widely expected when Kmart and Sears merged that the combined company would take the best each chain had to offer and bring it together under one roof to create more compelling
reasons for shoppers to spend their hard-earned cash in the retailer’s stores.
As a piece in the Chicago Tribune points out, nine months after the merger was finalized, one portion of the expected scenario has taken place. Today many popular once
proprietary Sears brands are being sold in Kmart stores. Surprisingly to many, however, the most popular brands sold in Kmart, most notably the Martha Stewart Everday line, still
are not available to shoppers in any of Sears various store formats.
“We don’t have any Kmart brands at Sears at this point,” said Chris Brathwaite, a spokesperson for Sears Holdings. “We’re currently looking at the best way to leverage the brands
of both companies, and that work continues right now.”
The holdup on the Martha Stewart front, according to the Trib report, is that neither Edward Lampert, chairman of Sears Holdings, or Ms. Stewart have been willing to give
in on their terms of a deal.
Still, other popular Kmart brands have yet to find their way into Sears stores. Route 66, Joe Boxer and the Jaclyn Smith line of women’s apparel are still being sold exclusively
Some believe the absence of Kmart brands has been particularly confusing to long term shoppers of the chain who enter stores converted into the Sears Essential format. Instead
of finding Martha Stewart, they now find Martex.
Moderator’s Comment: Is the absence of popular Kmart brands in Sears stores keeping them from achieving greater results?
What impact have Sears brands in Kmart stores had on those operations? –
George Anderson – Moderator