While Sears Canada announced recently that it will be closing three stores across the country by the end of this year, including Vancouver’s flagship location downtown, the company is moving ahead with a revamp of its men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel and footwear departments, beginning with a new publication called the Look! Report.
“It’s a different way of approaching customers. We’re not going to get the modern or newer customer come in from the flyer or catalogue,” Cynthia Florek, Sears’ brand and trend director for women’s apparel and accessories, told the Straight while on the line from Toronto. “It’s more of a curated point of view, and it’s not what you’d expect.”
Canadians will be receiving a copy of the 23-page Look! Report in the mail this month, with three more issues highlighting seasonal trends coming later this year. The glossy publication is geared towards young, fashion-forward consumers, and features key looks and a list of must-have accessories of the season that are available in Sears department stores.
Florek, who has been working at Sears Canada for three years and recently stepped into her new trends-focused role, says that the publication is one way that Sears is trying to attract new, younger customers.
“Perhaps they came in for cosmetics or they bought their major appliances, but Sears is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of fashion,” she said, “So just trying to get on the radar with the consumer, showing them that we have things that are on-trend and on-style, and we’re looking at really pricing it right.”
Inside spring’s Look! Report, shoppers will find slick, detailed trench coats by America’s Next Top Model judge-turned-designer Jay Manuel’s ATTITUDE label priced from $99.99, colourful, oversized cocktail rings by Nevada for $9.97, loose-knit boho-style sweaters by Kensie starting at $47, and an assortment of short, sheath dresses by one of Sears’ longest-running labels, Jessica, all priced at $48.99.
“There’s a lot of loyalty with that brand [Jessica], but we are looking to rejuvenate it,” Florek said. “It’s not going to happen overnight, but we’re in the process of starting that. The big changes will come by fall.”
Along with the Look! Report, Florek said that Sears will be adding a “trend zone” in some of its flagship stores, which will carry a constant rotation of fast-fashion items, as well as focusing on providing a more streamlined customer experience in all of its stores.
“We have now an in-store merchandising team that is looking after the in-store experience,” she said. “If you come into the store and you found something you really like in the Look!, you can easily find it on the floor, and I think we’ve been challenged in offering the customer an enjoyable shopping experience.”
In Metro Vancouver, Sears will celebrate the launch of its new Look! Report with an in-store event at Sears Metrotown (4750 Kingsway, Burnaby) on Saturday (March 17) from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature in-store giveaways, a live DJ, sweet treats, and the first 250 shoppers will receive a gift card.
You can follow Michelle da Silva on Twitter at twitter.com/michdas.