Sears is once again exploring its "softer side" with a new apparel program that will showcase international collections, many not seen before in the United States.
The "Showcase at Sears" will feature at least 10 apparel brands and the first location is scheduled to open in New York-area stores this September.
The 10,000- to 15,000-sq.-ft. boutiques will feature men's and women's apparel, women's shoes, intimates and handbags, and children's apparel. The shops will be inside Sears stores and staffed by dedicated associates.
Styles will include fast fashion, fitness, contemporary sportswear and professional looks. Prices will range from $10 to $175, according to Sears.
"We are creating an experience for our members unlike anything in the U.S. retail industry – a fashion-forward, shop-in-shop apparel collection featuring established and popular international fashion brands," said David Pastrana, president of apparel, Sears Holdings, in a statement. "Showcase at Sears gives our members access to fresh international trends, styles and fashions at an affordable price – and only found at Sears."
Showcase at Sears will open in five stores and featured brands from the U.K. and Mexico include Biography, Fiorentina, Hawes & Curtis, Ilusión, LMENTAL and Zatchels. Spanish labels include Mango, MaryPaz and Punt Roma.
Jack & Jones from Denmark and 3 Pommes from France round out the opening roster.
"These curated collections are a perfect complement to our existing apparel assortment and offer exposure to brands you'd otherwise have to travel internationally to try on," said Joelle Maher, president and chief member officer for Sears. "Not only will our members love the fashion and selection, they'll love the unique space we're building out in each store. It will be inviting, high energy, and staffed with knowledgeable associates dedicated to serving members who shop the Showcase."
It has been close to 20 years since Sears promoted its softer side. Apparel and other softlines have long been problematic for the retailer better known for its hardline brands.
The focus at Sears is now on growing the Shop Your Way membership program, and hardlines are viewed as a new source of revenue as management explores a potential sale of the Kenmore, DieHard and Craftsman brands.
- see this Sears announcement