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Sears unveils new home brand

Hoffman Estates, IL — Whole Home, a new three-tier home fashions program, is being launched by Sears across all home lines.

Whole Home, said Kathryn Bufano, executive vp, general manager, soft lines, is designed to offer "department store quality at Sears prices." Bufano, making a presentation at the Sears analyst meeting here yesterday, added that home textiles and the new closet shop are the first to be rolled out in what will be Sears' proprietary brand for the home. She compared it with Covington, the newly launched Sears proprietary brand in apparel.

Whole Home is the top of the three tiers of home fashions branding that also includes Whole Home Colormate Coordinates, a fully coordinated program across home fashions, and New Traditions, the opening-price-point lines, said Leslie Mann, senior vp, gmm, softlines. In a walk-through of the nearby West Dundee store that has been completely retrofitted in merchandise, layout and fixturing, Mann pointed to Whole HomeGrand Manor, a $159.99 queen comforter set as the best seller, even though its is the top of the line.

The store also has the first of the Lands' End home furnishings — a reversible down comforter at $99 twin, a 5-ounce cotton flannel sheet set at $47 twin, a combed cotton bath towel at $10, and a 250-count Supima cotton sheet set at $116 queen.

In the Whole Home intros, typical pricing is $5.49 for a bath towel, $119.99 for a cotton embroidered quilt in full/queen, $39.99 for a 220-count cotton queen sheet set, $39.99 for a 310-count cotton sateen queen set and $69.99 for a 250-count Egyptian cotton queen set.

In Whole Home Colormate, a 50/50 200-count blend is $38.99 queen, and an embroidered queen cotton sheet set is $44.99 for four pieces.

Rugs, while not completely redone, will be "totally changed" from the way they have been merchandised before, Mann added. "We're moving away from tables to rolls, and accent rugs are a big opportunity." The rollout for rugs " will come when we get the space as stores are remodeled."

Despite the push for the Whole Home program, which had early intros last year, Bufano emphasized, "We are by no means private label stores. Seventy-five percent of our business is national brands."

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