Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Sears Holdings has hired a global
licensing agent to find new venues for its private-label Kenmore, Craftsman and
The retailer said it will work closely with Leveraged Marketing
Corp. of America (LMCA) to “identify, evaluate and manage licensing
opportunities around the world” as it seeks to extend its house brands to new
product categories and geographic markets, such as aprons for its Kenmore
Sears chairman Edward Lambert has long identified the company’s
brand stable as a potential cash cow, although internal efforts to leverage the
lines have met with limited success. Retailers have rebuffed offers to carry
Kenmore, majap merchants have told TWICE, and the market share-leading brand has
yet to find a home outside Sears and Kmart.
Sears has had better luck with its Craftsman tool brand, which
has been picked up by Costco and Ace Hardware, although only one DieHard deal
has been forged to date, with flashlight and battery maker Dorcy International.
Sears launched a line of
“This global licensing initiative … is aligned with our plans to
strategically utilize our brands and other key assets to increase their
long-term value,” Sears president/CEO Lou D’Ambrosio said in a statement.
LMCA chief executive Allan Feldman said of the brands that “We
believe some of the most successful and innovative companies in the world will
be interested in licensing them.”