Domestics to get a facelift at Sears
By Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 3/26/2004 12:00:00 AM
NEW YORK —
Sears is making changes in the home fashions department as it rolls out its spring set, part of a larger effort that will fall into place across the year to freshen up domestics.
In addition to its previously announced introduction of WestPoint Steven's Martex and Utica brands, the retailer's 871 full-line stores this year will undertake a "significant" repositioning of merchandise assortments in 2004, according to Alan Lacy, chairman and CEO.
Speaking at the Merrill Lynch Retailing Leaders conference here earlier this week, Lacy said the effort would also include refixturing and updating layouts in Sears' larger stores.
Sears is also stepping up its effort to freshen presentations across the store this year. It will remodel 116 stores in 2004, up from 49 units last year. In 2005, 117 stores will be remodeled.
In the online world, sears.com will add apparel to its assortment for the first time, Lacy said. The retailer's direct-to-consumer business, which also includes landsend.com, rang up $2 billion in sales last year and draws more than 7 million unique visits per month. The number of shoppers who picked up their purchases in-store after buying online rose 70 percent last year.
Under new initiatives, Sears will open four more Sears Grand off-the-mall, general merchandise stores by the third quarter of 2005. The next opening will take place April 3 at Gurnee Mills in Gurnee, Ill.
"The customer gets it. They get the fact that Sears sells better things than they can get from other off-mall stores," Lacy added.
He acknowledged that with its concentration of consumers, health and beauty aids, and lawn and garden suppliers, the off-the-mall stores are operationally different from the core Sears format.
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