If you want to be among the first U.S. consumers to access the latest fashion offerings from Spain’s Punt Roma brand or France’s 3 Pommes, you will need to get to Westchester County in New York. Once you arrive, track down the high fashion retailer that will be bringing the brands to American shores: Sears!lo-res_d7a86y-s

In a surprising move, the department store chain that has largely become known for tools and inexpensive consumer goods is experimenting with a new concept called Showcase at Sears. In five locations, the stores-within-the-store will highlight 10 different Latin American and European brands that have not appeared for sale previously in the United States. Each dedicated shop, running at about 15,000 square feet, will feature a high energy vibe, dedicated service and sales personnel, products with prices running from about $10 to $175, and options in children’s, women’s, and men’s clothing and accessories.

The introduced brands will include several options from Mexico, such as Fiorentina and Ilusion, two brands of women’s intimate apparel; the women’s lifestyle brand Biography and shoe company Zatchels from the United Kingdom; and Denmark’s Jack & Jones for men’s apparel.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is Sears doing to bolster its apparel business?
  2. Who will be the target market for this new apparel business?
  3. Is that target market consistent with Sears’ current customer profile?
  4. Do you shop for apparel at Sears? Why or why not?
  5. Do you believe this new apparel strategy will be successful enough to change people’s attitude toward shopping for apparel at Sears?

 Source: George Anderson, Retail Wire, August 24, 2016