Sears Exiting 7 CE Categories - Twice

Sears Exiting 7 CE Categories

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Sears is overhauling its CE assortment and will redesign its electronics departments to better accommodate the new mix.

The improved merchandise offering will feature an expanded assortment of digital and traffic-driving items while focusing on fewer key products, the company said.

As part of the re-assortment, the mass merchant is exiting seven product categories, including PCs, peripherals, component and mobile audio, film cameras, cellphones and PDAs.

According to a Sears spokesperson, the retailer arrived at the edits by analyzing every CE SKU and removing those with the smallest market share.

The products will be replaced with "more relevant and productive" categories, the spokesperson said, including deeper assortments of digital cameras, DTVs, gaming hardware and software, DVD movies, HTiBs and other digital products.

Sears recently held a powwow here with 45 vendors to apprise them of the changes.

The new assortment will be housed within a redesigned department that will boast new layouts and fixtures, glass walls and improved product adjacencies. Sears is also moving its plasma display SKUs from their present in-aisle perch to the back wall "for better presentation," the spokesperson said. "We're making it easier for consumers to shop and find what they're looking for."

The floor reset is slated to rollout this August.

The effort is part of a multi-year "re-launch" of Sears' full-line locations, which includes a store base upgrade, productivity improvements, IT and supply chain initiatives, and better marketing and in-store merchandising.

Separately, the company opened its second Sears Grand pilot store earlier this month, this one in Gurnee, Ill. Like its predecessor, which launched last fall near Salt Lake City, the store is a freestanding, full-line operation with wider aisles, brighter, more colorful floors, added services like banking and key cutting, and traffic driving, quick-turn items like CDs and DVD movies.

Teresa Byrd, VP/general merchandise manager for Sears' off-mall stores, described the pilots as a "one-stop home and family solution center," and a way for busy shoppers to manage their lives and households more efficiently.

Grand opening festivities included contests, gift card giveaways and an autograph session with Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman.

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