Sears Spinning Off Lands' End to Aid Survival

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 9, 2013 02:06 PM

Hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert has made enough smart choices to become a billionaire, but one decision has surely been haunting him for some time now. When he decided to combine Kmart and Sears back in 2005 for $11 billion, there was no way he’d know that it would mean a continued downward spiral for his new company. 

After all, Sears and Kmart were once retail titans. Now they are slowly being crushed by the likes of Walmart, Target, and online retailers of all stripes.

Sears, of course, has been doing all it can to survive. The company has tested localized personal shopping, taken its in-house brands – Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard – out of house, sold its Canadian real-estate holdings in October for $383 million, and even set up a whole section on its website using “undead” models to appeal to younger consumers. But nothing has turned it around.

Now Sears Holdings will follow through on an idea it floated back in October: spinning off clothing retailer Land’s End. According to the Chicago Tribune, the spinoff “will not raise cash for Sears but will allow Lampert to more efficiently chart a course for the two businesses, which compete for management time and capital within the Sears group.” Continue reading...

brand inspiration

Hyundai, Diehard, Even 'Carrie' Hope Their Marketing Memes Last as Long as the Undead

Posted by Dale Buss on October 18, 2013 05:43 PM

The zombie marketing meme seems to be lasting as long as the creatures themselves. Witness the unexpiring hookup between Hyundai USA and The Walking Dead, and a new campaign by—who else?—Diehard Batteries as the latest examples.

Maybe Sears learned something from its zombie-related marketing effort on behalf of its store brand three years ago. In any event, its clever new ad features a couple in distress, the requisite zombie horde, and an unlikely hero: the battery that starts the getaway truck presumably after years of sitting idle.

Meanwhile, Hyundai now has committed to an endless relationship with the hit zombie series The Walking Dead, which started its new season on AMC last weekend as the most popular show on US cable television.Continue reading...

brand bites

Brand Bites: Madonna's Censored TV Commercial & Bacontastic Branding

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 30, 2012 12:05 PM

Here's the commercial for Madonna's new "Truth or Dare" fragrance deemed too racy by Disney's ABC TV censors.

Below, enjoy some bacontastic branding mmmoves, and more:Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: AB InBev, BlackBerry, Virgin Money

Posted by Dale Buss on March 29, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Anheuser-Busch InBev tries to get customers to return to its brands.

Annie's IPO surges.

BMW begins delivering fleet for use in London Summer Olympics.

Bertelsmann considers IPO.

BlackBerry-maker RIM plans to report turnaround progress today.

Bojangles unleashes "Chicken Cops" campaign.

Chevron and Merck disclose funding of attack-ad groups.

Depend campaign features non-incontinent celebrities.Continue reading...

private brand

Sears Takes In-House Brands Out of House

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 26, 2011 10:01 AM

It used to be that Sears’ in-house brands – Craftsman, Kenmore, and DieHard – could only be found at Sears-owned stores and acted as magnets to consumers, bringing them in so they’d check out other products.

But those days are over. Following in the footsteps of a deal to sell Craftsman at Costco and agreement to DieHard products at Meijer, Sears is reportedly prepping to sell its Kenmore goods elsewhere as well, marking the first time that Kenmore goods would be sold elsewhere in the brand's 98-year history.Continue reading...

private brand

Costco Gains One Craftsman, Loses Another

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 5, 2011 01:04 PM

The Standard Operating Procedure with an in-house brand is that it’s sold, well, in-house, but Sears Holdings Corp. is about to break a new barrier for the company. According to the Chicago Tribune, Sears “has agreed to sell its Craftsman tool line through Costco clubs nationwide.”

And the two retailers aren’t wasting any time. The “hand tools, power tools and tool storage units will start appearing on Costco shelves as early as Saturday” over Labor Day weekend. Since Costco members don’t tend to shop at Sears or Kmart, the company has its hopes pinned on gaining new customers for the Craftsman brand via Costco's wholesale store.Continue reading...

wisdom of the crowd

Hammer Time: Craftsman Markets to the Non-Handy

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 13, 2011 10:00 AM

There are millions of Americans who couldn’t tell you how to use a mitre box if you paid them to tell you. Craftsman is aiming to change that. 

In an attempt to market to those who aren’t so handy, Craftsman, the venerable 84-year-old Sears tool brand that is also now available at Ace Hardware, is casting an online reality show, “Screw*d.”

As the title implies, Craftsman is seeking a participant who's unhandy at fixing things around the house — a human fixer-upper in need of Craftsman's help.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Super Bowl, iAds, Dunkin' and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 4, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

Super Bowl XLV combatants, brand marketers including Kraft and Verizon, automakers and other game advertisers and fans gird for the game in north Texas this weekend between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Apple and Campbell Soup say that iAds are twice as effective as TV. 

AT&T reaches out to business users. 

BJ’s Wholesale places itself on auction block

BMW may lease, not sell, its Megacity EV.

Dunkin’ Donuts foresees 50% hike in expansion deals this year.Continue reading...

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