The Many Sides of Sears’ Clothing Business
When Sears launched its "The Many Sides of Me" campaign
last year to help drive its clothing sales, many questioned whether it was
going all-in to succeed despite one executive’s assertion the company was "on
a path to ‘Feminize, Energize and Digitize’ the Sears soft side brand positioning."
recent months, the company announced it was remodeling clothing departments
in 200 locations in key markets. Critics argued the move was another in a line
of half-hearted attempts by a chain with thousands of locations in the U.S.
Even the announcement of a deal to sell an exclusive line of women’s,
men’s and children’s clothing under the UK Style by French Connection brand
beginning early this year has its skeptics. The brand will be available in
500 Sears stores and also on Sears.com.
A RetailWire poll in September
of last year found 46 percent were somewhat or much more optimistic about Sears’
clothing business than in the past. Of the balance, 31 percent were somewhat
or much less optimistic and 25 percent were unchanged.
Yesterday, Sears Holdings
announced another development in its clothing business with the hire of Lana
Cain Krauter as SVP and president – Sears Apparel. Ms. Cain Krauter, was most
recently president/chief merchandising officer for Bealls Department Stores.
She also held senior positions with J.C. Penney Company, Goody’s Family Clothing
and Sears, Roebuck and Co.
"Lana is a great addition to our apparel team," said John
Goodman, EVP – Apparel and Home, in a statement. "She brings to the company
an excellent track record with brand, product and customer loyalty program
development and a demonstrated success in creating and inspiring high performance
reported declines in its seasonal apparel business in the third quarter with
the unseasonably warm weather being given as a contributing factor.
Discussion Questions: Does the latest announcement by Sears give you greater
confidence the company is not only committed to growing it apparel business,
but has a fighting chance to succeed? What advice would you offer Lana Cain Krauter
as she gets ready to lead Sears efforts in clothing?
- Sears Holdings Names President of Sears Apparel Business Unit – Sears Holdings
- Sears Holdings Reports Third Quarter Results – Sears Holdings Corporation/PRNewswire