Sears Canada Launches Off-Price Format, New Private Label Strategy

Sears Canada has launched a major repositioning of its business with a new off-price operation and a new approach to private label.

The Cut @ Sears, the off-price retail format, made its debut as a pop up store in Toronto’s Queen West neighborhood. The pop-up store offers a look at how the off-price format will operate as well as the all-new Sears private label product lineup including S by Sears, a trend-focused fast-fashion line targeted to shoppers aged 20 to 30 years old. Sears Canada positioned the pop-up shop to promote the off-price business and provide a sampling of the assortment it is offering across the country via The Cut in-store departments and online. The S by Sears brand is one element in the retailer’s private label reconfiguration. Other private label merchandise will fall under the banner name, Sears, and is being introduced to shoppers as “new essentials” with product segments including fashion basics and related apparel as well as housewares such as cookware and tabletop assortments.

Sears Canada characterized The Cut @ Sears as one of the most marked changes to its business model in years. The branded merchandise assortment focuses on home décor and fashion finds for 30% to 60% off the regular ticket price.

A Sears Canada spokesperson told HomeWorld Business that the company has no plans to roll out independent The Cut stores, the pop-up shop aside, but will position the off-price format as its own department in Sears stores taking up to 20,000 square feet total with 10,000 square feet merchandising home décor and 10,000 square feet merchandising apparel. The Cut @ Sears has dedicated buying teams based in Toronto, Montreal and New York sourcing on-trend designer apparel and home décor merchandise, with new product hitting stores weekly.

The Sears Canada pop-up store opened to the public on Saturday, April 8, displaying the tag: #weveCHANGED. The shop sports a store design that reflects the company’s new Sears concept stores.

“Off-price retail is a hot trend across Canada,” said Brandon Stranzl, executive chairman, Sears Canada. “It allows us to extend our mandate to provide customers some of the best known designer brands in the world at the most affordable prices. The product has been in select stores for just a few months as part of a soft launch, and the results so far are very encouraging. This is a pivotal move for the Sears Canada business.”

He added, “2017 is the year for change and reinvention at Sears Canada. We started on our reinvention path last year when we focused on a dramatic refinement to our product selection, to achieve a simple value proposition for consumers, high quality at a low price, and our Sears label essentials and The Cut @ Sears achieves this in a big way. We have also overhauled our customer experience online and in store as we commit to providing Canadians the best shopping experience possible.”