Tuesday, May 27, 2008

5517: Trying To Buy Coolness.

Why is Sears teaming up with LL Cool J? Um, because Kool Moe Dee wasn’t available…? The article below appeared in The Chicago Sun-Times…

Report: Sears teams with LL Cool J for new brand


Sears is expected to launch a new hip-hop clothing label in partnership with rapper LL Cool J, according to a report in Tuesday’s Women’s Wear Daily trade magazine.

The casualwear brand, called LL Cool J for Sears, will include girls and boys, juniors and young men’s wear, according to the publication.

The collection is slated to start appearing in 450 of Sears’ 900 stores in September, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

The collection is expected to expand into accessories and be in as many as 600 stores for the winter holiday season, according to the report.

This won’t be the first time that Sears has launched a celebrity brand or made efforts to appeal to its African-American shopper base.

Sears previously launched 97 multicultural concept stores in its stores, and has offered African-American-themed items in its catalogs. It also has sold labels by Latin TV star Lucy Pereda, as well as well-known designers Liz Claiborne and BCBG’s Max Azria.

Meanwhile, analysts expect another dismal quarter at Sears when the Hoffman Estates-based retailer reports earnings on Thursday.

Analyst Bill Dreher at Deutsche Bank Securities is predicting Sears will report a profit decline of 92 percent on a sales decline of 5.7 percent, to $11.03 billion for the fiscal first quarter. Sears had to impose drastic markdowns on unsold goods, and is in the midst of a reorganization that calls on unit leaders to be accountable for their business’ strategy and success.

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