By  on April 13, 2006

NEW YORK — Fall marks the first big test for the reengineered Sears Holdings private label apparel and accessories program.

The retailer has adopted a vertical approach to product development involving sourcing and designing in-house, bypassing the domestic market in favor of direct importing, and having merchants function as general managers rather than selecting goods. Teams at Sears and Kmart divisions — ranging from sourcing and design to finance, legal, marketing, stores and human resources — have been integrated, practically completing the merger process.

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