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Joe Boxer drives home back-to-school sales

Troy, MI — Although the official launch of the Joe Boxer apparel and home collection is this week, Kmart recorded strong sales in its home business at stores across the country where the merchandise was available last week, a number of store managers reported.

The Back-to-School collection, a Kmart exclusive, is designed to bring younger customers into the store. And in marketing moves that are similar, but different from the Target launch of Todd Oldham last month, Kmart launched its advertising campaign last week with TV commercials focusing on the apparel segment. Its weekend circular featured an eight-page pullout on the Joe Boxer collection and millions of direct mail pieces were sent prior to the introduction.

In home textiles, products covered the gamut from bedding and towels to impulse items like bed wedges, floor pillows and body pillows. Bed-in-a-bag sets at $39.99 are called “Snooze Kits,” cotton jersey sheets are “Bed Pajamas” at $24.99 and a standard pillow at $2.99 is called a “Rest Nest.”

Acknowledging the college crowd, the bed-in-a-bag comes in an extra long twin. Bath towels are $9.99; a hand towel/bath towel set is $7.99; and an oversized polyester fleece throw is $9.99. The Joe Boxer home collection also takes in the kitchen and dining needs of students with a dinnerware set at $2.99, a bathroom set at $1.99, kitchen towels and dishcloths at 25 for $5, and a Hide-It wooden table at $9.99.

There are a number of suppliers in the program including Perfect Fit, Creative Bath, WestPoint Stevens and Ixtaccihuatl of Mexico.

The official launch includes a marching band parade and a fashion show at its Astor Place store in New York on Aug. 1 hosted by Kmart chairman and ceo Jim Adamson and Nicholas Graham, chief underpants officer of Joe Boxer.

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