Sears Turns On the Sun

Carole Sloan, February 7, 2005

Hoffman Estates, Ill. Sears is inviting its customers to have an early start with fun in the sun with the launch of its home fashions program — Dot Fun in the Summertime — scheduled to hit store floors later this month.

The collection of perky, bright looks began with a dot and daisy motif from tabletop supplier Zak, said Steve Ryman, vice president, general merchandise manager for home. The program crossed a number of divisions. It evolved into bed, bath, dinnerware, barware, glassware, beach towels, area rugs, shower curtains and accessories, outdoor lighting, candles, floral arrangements, decorative outdoor lighting and decorative pillows.

“We took Zak's dot and daisy and built around it” with affordable fashion, he related. “We wanted to let customers know that we could provide total solutions for entertaining, bed and bath decorating,” Ryman added.

As for producing product, the Dot Fun in the Summertime name is trademarked and is self-sourced, a first major effort in this fashion approach to sourcing, Ryman explained. “It is all pulled together by one focused color palette and the dots, daisies, stripes and plaid design elements.”

Sears will support the program with significant advertising, including preprints and direct mail for this month's launch.

Pricing for the various elements of the program range from quilts at $40 all sizes, $15 for all size sheet sets, $6 for bath towels, and $17 to $25 for decorative pillows and floor cushions.

In addition to the advertising, Sears plans heavy in-store action. The program will have strong presentation support, Ryman said, it will be featured in space now called “Sears Experiences” at the mall entrance to the stores and adjacent spaces, as well as “threshholds,” which are spaces that work from department to department, Ryman explained.

In April, Sears plans to kick off its “fast track” conversion program of former Kmart stores into Sears formats that bring elements of some Kmart assets. The first conversions are scheduled in Nashua, N.H., Stuart, Fla., Warranton, Va., Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Clinton, Md.

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