Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Sears sets up its own Fashion tent, hopes to wow the crowds


sears.jpgThe big white tent that houses New York City’s Fashion Week was joined by another, smaller tent on Wednesday. Set up behind the main event, in a corner of Bryant Park, Sears erected what it calls a “lifestyle exhibit.” Also housed under a white tent, the meandering exhibit was meant to showcase Sears’  brands – well-established names such as Kenmore appliances and more recent products like a new clothing line by rapper LL Cool J.

The tent was divided into rooms with themes like “Alpha Dog” that featured a DieHard motorcycle, and “Boho Grunge,” that had mannequins playing Rock Band.

Sears is certainly not the first retailer to try to raise its chic quotient by hosting an event in coordination with New York’s Fashion Week. In a memorable attempt to wow the masses, Wal-Mart held a fashion show in a Times Square studio during Fashion Week in 2005 to showcase its apparel. The location was chosen to make the show accessible to the public.

But low-priced retailers and Fashion Week have not always mixed well. In early 2007, Wal-Mart ended its Fashion Week participation after its shoppers proved more interested in basic, affordable clothes than trendy fashions like skinny jeans.

Rapper finds a new passion in apparel


Rapper LL Cool J says he is just as passionate about selling a new clothing line at Sears as he is about his music.

His casual wear collection, to be rolled out at 450 Sears stores on Sept. 7, features clothes for men, women and children. Prices start at $24 for T-shirts, $50 for jeans and $60 for outerwear.