SEARS’ SLIMMER SIDE: Sears, Roebuck & Co. is testing a slimmed-down version of its full-line store, which occupies around 70,000 square feet, Arthur C. Martinez, chairman and chief executive officer, revealed Tuesday.
“I believe that we could put 100 of these Sears stores in smaller markets in the U.S.,” Martinez said in his luncheon talk at Robertson Stephens’ Consumer, Specialty Retailing and Restaurant Conference. The first two scaled-down stores are set to bow next month in Wilson and Statesville, N.C. Sears’ full-line stores on average occupy 132,000 square feet.
Also on the agenda are plans to open 25 full-sized stores each year for the next three years, Martinez said at the event held in New York’s Pierre Hotel. The ceo further noted that Sears still has “significant growth opportunities” within its 240 or so full-line stores that are slated to be remodeled over the next three years. Those units account for 30 percent of Sears’ mall-based units. The rest of the chain has been redone over the past four years, with Sears converting backroom real estate into selling space.
Within all of the full-line stores, added Martinez, “significant growth prospects” lie in Sears’ large sizes, accessories and footwear departments.

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