Sears (NASDAQ: SHLD) has partnered with Seventeen magazine to create a full line of clothing, shoes and accessories aimed at juniors. The companies are also working to create specially branded Seventeen boutiques inside 500 Sears stores, including 10 flagship locations. The shops will feature Seventeen signage, interactive elements, charging stations and image pieces.
"We think this is going to be a big win for us," Sheila Field, CMO of Sears apparel at Sears Holdings, told Women's Wear Daily. "We're going through a transformation in our apparel and fashion business and there is more to come. This is ongoing."
The magazine was looking for a big chain with merchandising and manufacturing expertise, reported WWD. The Seventeen team also wanted to bring a digital component to the line's launch, which Sears has been actively doing with its own omnichannel efforts, particularly with its Shop Your Way program, which will feature exclusive content for the Seventeen apparel.
"Seventeen will have its own brand page," Field said. "You'll also be able to create your own catalogs of items you like and share those catalogs with friends. We'll be tapping into Seventeen's great readership and using all the Sears channels, especially digital and social, to target this consumer."
This partnership could be a major win for Sears, as it continues its drive to reinvent failing stores. Sears said its fourth-quarter losses were $358 million, and same-store sales at Sears dropped 7.8 percent. At the time earnings were reported, Sears said it is planning to rebound in the coming months by allocating more resources to digital and omnichannel strategies. Having a teen-driven brand, such as the one with Seventeen, that targets tech-savvy millennials could be a win.
The Seventeen clothing line with Sears is Hearst's first apparel and accessory brand "of this magnitude" in 70 years. The collection ranges from items for the school girl to the college student and beyond. There's no word yet on when the collection will hit stores.
-See this Women's Wear Daily article
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