Sears Announces New Store Format
Feb 9, 2005
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Sears, Roebuck and Co. announced the launch of the company's newest off-mall format -- Sears Essentials.

The new mid-sized store format, which the company says will leverage the best of Sears along with convenience-inspired items, is a result of the acquisition of 50 Kmart and six Wal-Mart stores finalized in the third quarter of 2004. The first 25 Sears Essentials stores are scheduled to open this spring.

"Sears Essentials will lead the way as we embark on the most aggressive growth initiative in company history," said Alan Lacy, Sears chairman and CEO. "This new store format enables Sears to grow its brand off-mall and better meet the everyday needs of our customers."

Sears Essentials will offer appliances, lawn and garden, tools, electronics, apparel, and home fashions, along with convenience items such as health and beauty, pantry, household and paper products, pet supplies, and toys.

Following the proposed business combination with Kmart, Sears expects that the new off-mall stores will leverage Kmart's strengths, including the retailer's experience, knowledge, infrastructure and scale, particularly in such categories as pantry, health and beauty, household goods, and pharmacy. The retailer says the format will also leverage Sears' strengths, including expertise in appliances, lawn and garden, tools and apparel, and strong brands like Kenmore, Craftsman, and Apostrophe.

Retaining several off-mall attributes, the stores will feature a one-level racetrack design, exit cashiering, and a centralized customer service center. The stores will primarily be located in large, densely populated markets. U.S. store locations are currently planned in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia.

The stores expected to undergo the transition over the coming weeks and months will remain open during the process and will convert to the Sears Essentials nameplate this spring.

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