Meet the new Sears: A glimpse inside the retailer's new test stores

By RetailFOXBusiness

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Sears is ready for its comeback.

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After years of closures and a very challenging six-month period through bankruptcy, the struggling retailer is ready to win back customers with its first batch of smaller test stores.

Sears announced on Thursday it plans to open three pint-sized stores in May in an attempt to revitalize its brand after former Sears CEO Eddie Lampert saved the retailer from liquidation earlier this year.

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The new stores, called Sears Home & Life, will be a fraction of the size of a typical Sears department store and will only sell major appliances, tools and mattresses. New test locations are set to debut in Alaska, Kansas and Louisiana.

“What we are doing is looking at our really strong asset capabilities and really focusing in on them in small-format stores," Peter Boutros, chief brand officer of Sears and Kmart, and president of the Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands, told FOX Business.

Additionally, Boutros said the retailer is narrowing in on its key customer -- boomers.

"The second group we are focusing in on are young forming families," Boutros added. "We want to be the go to location for families when they buy appliances, mattresses and home furnishings. And, typically boomers will help their children, who are starting a family, with big ticket items."

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However, Boutros admits the retailer's biggest hurdle is winning back the confidence of its customers.

Since aquiring the retailer last February, many have questioned Lampert's ability to turn the retailer around in the long-term. While Sears has retained its Kenmore and DieHard brands, it sold the Craftsman product line to Stanley Black & Decker in 2017, but continues to sell the tools through licensing partners.

Boutros declined to comment on how much Sears spent on the new locations or on sales projections for the new store formats. However, he said Sears is planning to ramp up its marketing efforts over the next few months with TV advertising.