Sears Gets Agent To License Kenmore Brand

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Hoffman Estates, Ill. - Sears Holdings has hired a global licensing agent to find new venues for its private-label Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands.

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 appliance badge.

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

DieHard alkaline batteries

last month.

"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."


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