Sears to Sell Less Apparel, Shrink Stores

As first predicted during an interview with WCCO-AM Jan. 18, Sears plans to apply what it’s learned from its independent Sears Hometown Stores to save its remaining company owned stores by reducing clothing and devoting more space to tools and appliances, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Hometown stores are located in smaller communities such as Hutchinson, New Ulm and Litchfield, and were spun off like franchise operations by Sears in recent years as it downsized. They sell appliances, sporting goods, home goods and other products but do not sell apparel.

[From today’s WSJ, Verbatim] “Edward Lampert has a plan for Sears after its trip through bankruptcy: smaller stores and less apparel. The hedge-fund manager, who steered Sears into bankruptcy and kept it alive with a $5.2 billion offer for its assets, says he will sell or sublease some of the 425 remaining stores. He plans to devote more of the retail space to tools and appliances. He also wants to open more smaller stores, similar to one in Oak Brook, Ill., which at 62,000 square feet is about one-third its original size.

‘Our goal is to continue to shrink the size of our stores,’ Mr. Lampert said in his first interview since his rescue plan was approved by the bankruptcy court this week. ‘If I had my druthers, I’d rather be bigger than smaller. We still have enough of a critical mass.’

The restructured company, which doesn’t yet have a new corporate name, will be composed of 223 Sears stores and 202 Kmart locations, as well as the Kenmore and DieHard brands. Sears sold its Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker in 2017 but retains a license to sell products under the name.”