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Sears to Put Name on Hundreds of Kmarts

Hoffman Estates, Ill.—Sears, Roebuck and Co. discussed plans to convert “several hundred” Kmart stores into Sears nameplates over the next three years, during its fourth quarter and full year-end results conference call last week.

The plan “represent(s) the largest expansion of Sears locations in our 119-year history,” noted Alan Lacy, chairman and CEO.

“We are excited about the opportunity to rapidly grow our off-mall locations and become closer and more convenient to our customers,” he continued. “We are two years into our off-mall growth strategy, and I continue to be very encouraged with results posted by these stores.”

“Moreover, the significant amount of work done to develop, launch and operate these off-mall stores should be extremely beneficial following the merger,” he said.

The Kmart stores set for conversion will predominately be located in key urban and high-density suburban markets that feature customer demographics and average income levels matching those of the typical Sears shopper.

Kmart will also stand to gain post merger, Lacy pointed out, “benefiting from the planned cost sharing of several of Sears' leading proprietary brands” as well as present opportunities “to capture significant revenue and cost synergies, including merchandise and non-merchandise purchasing, distribution and other SG&A expenses.”

Lacy said that 12 teams have been created for the merger — each with representation from both companies — to ease the process.

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