Sears to Introduce Apparel Brand, Providing New Classic Wardrobe For the Family

Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) today announced it plans to debut Covington ™, the newest addition to its family of proprietary brands, at Sears' full-line stores in September. This "new classic" brand becomes the company's first exclusive brand extending across men's, women's and children's apparel.

The Covington line replaces eight proprietary brands, including Crossroads, Fieldmaster and Trader Bay, and is expected to generate several hundred million dollars of annual volume when it is fully implemented.

The Covington collection will provide better-quality, high-value wardrobe essentials with an emphasis on new classic details, including clean designs, updated colors and natural fabrications. The line will feature updated classic separates for men, women and children, along with handbags, accessories and shoes for men and women.

"This new brand represents one part of our overall strategy to improve Sears' softlines merchandise offerings and solidify Sears' position as the retailer of choice for the home and family," said Alan J. Lacy, Sears chairman and chief executive officer. "We listened carefully to our customers and know that they want classically styled apparel with recognizable values to outfit their families."

"The Covington brand will allow Sears to greatly improve the quality, value and clarity of our mid-range apparel assortment for women, who often are the wardrobe managers for their families," said Kathryn Bufano, executive vice president and general manager of softlines. "Improving our product offering across all apparel categories remains a top priority, which we will achieve by clarifying and deepening our proprietary and national brand assortments."

In addition to quality basics, including turtlenecks and khakis, the line features novelty sweaters, twill pants, corduroy and denim pieces, footwear and leather handbags. In the fall collection, shoppers can expect unique items, such as washable faux suede shirts for men, and argyle sweaters with updated designs for women. Items range in price from $10 for children's jerseys to $60 for men's leather boots. The collection is available in petite and women's sizes 16W-24W, and the line will be carried in Sears' Big & Tall Shops for men, which also will debut this fall.

The Covington brand was created in response to customer input, which revealed that classic casual items make up the largest percentage of consumers' wardrobes. Research also identified that the new classic customer spends more than the traditional apparel shopper does.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a broadline retailer with significant service and credit businesses. In 2001, the company's annual revenue was more than $41 billion. The company offers its wide range of apparel, home and automotive products and services to families in the U.S. through Sears stores nationwide, including approximately 870 full-line stores. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through its Web site, http://www.sears.com/ .

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SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Contact: Lee Antonio, +1-847-286-5569, or Peggy Palter, +1-847-286-8361,
both of Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Website: http://www.sears.com/








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