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<< News >>

Local / National News

Wednesday, 4 February 2005 :: 12:12 pm

Select Kmart Stores to become 'Sears Grand'

by Jason Rzucidlo
AmericaJR@AmericaJR.com

Select Kmart stores in the U.S. will become 'Sears Grand' stores by May. The change will also effect Sears Essentials stores which will also become 'Sears Grand' stores. The retailer decided to make the change to become more competitive.

In Spring 2005, Sears launched the Essentials store. Twnety-five of them were opened in former Kmart locations and six vacant Wal-Mart locations. The deal cost $576 million and took place before the merger was announced.

Sears Essentials' stores were from 85,000 to 110,000 square feet. They were designed to be located in neighborhoods rather than in a shopping center. They offer items such as appliances, lawn and garden, tools and home fashions. You'll also find Kmart products you've come to expect such as health and beauty, pet supplies and canned/boxed food.

UBS Analyst Gary Balter said, "We believe this could mark the beginning of the end of the Kmart brand as Sears continues to transition locations to the Sears Essential format after the merger continues."

Sears Holdings Corp. has announced that they will upgrade the Sears Essentials stores into Sears Grand stores. The same will happen with some 14 Kmart stores across the U.S. Chris Brathwaite is a spokesman for Sears. He said, "We are not ditching the (Sears Essentials) format. We are retooling it. The next wave of stores will have a number of exciting improvements to the off-mall format."

In Michigan, three Sears Essentials stores will become Sears Grand. The three stores that will be affected are located in Rochester Hills, Warren and Brighton. However, they are not expected to be converted in the first round. It will take more time before they become Sears Grand.

Last year, Sears reported that around 400 Kmarts would be converted into Sears Essentials stores by 2007. Currently, only 50 stores recieved the upgrade.

What is a Sears Grand? They offer products from both traditional Sears and Kmart Stores. You'll find groceries with general merchandise as well. The idea is to compete directly with Wal-Mart. The stores will be from 160,000 to 210,000 square feet of space. It is about 2x the size of a Sears store that you would find in a shopping center.

Photo ©Sears Holdings Corp.

One of the grocery aisles inside a Sears Grand store.

 

Photo ©Sears Holdings Corp.

The checkouts inside a Sears Grand store.

 

Photo ©Sears Holdings Corp.

The exterior of a Sears Grand store.

 

Related Stories:

 

Sources:

Sears, Roebuck & Co.- http://www.sears.com/

Kmart Corp. - http://www.kmart.com/

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