Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) is teaming up with the Gerber Childrenswear division of Kellwood Company to debut Gerber Beginnings -- "the best place to start™" -- a newborn layette collection.
Gerber Beginnings, a Gerber Childrenswear brand, will launch exclusively in all 870 Sears stores this month. It includes soft cotton onesies® with coordinating pants, gowns, sleep n' play outfits, jacket and pant sets, cap and bootie sets, bibs, burp cloths and blankets.
"Gerber Beginnings provides an adorable, beautifully-designed mix-and- match assortment that will help set the stage for Sears to aggressively go after the baby business," said Meg Ostrom, Sears vice president and general merchandise manager of kids' apparel. "This special gift-giving product leverages the heritage and trust of Gerber and Sears by providing quality at great values. And launching the brand exclusively at Sears enables moms and gift givers to shop one of their favorite retailers for kids' apparel and find one of their favorite brands."
"We are confident that the Gerber Beginnings products are as unique as they are exciting and will quickly capture the attention of moms and gift givers across the country," said Pat Burns, president of Gerber Childrenswear. "The synergies between Gerber and Sears make for a great alliance, with our quality branded products at value prices being offered at one of America's top retailers."
Ostrom said Sears wanted to partner with Gerber because it is a key player in the baby category and a trusted brand, with wide recognition among consumers, both within the general market and among multicultural customers.
The addition of Gerber Beginnings is one of many strategic enhancements to Sears' kids' departments in stores across the country this summer. "Sears has been a favorite shopping destination for generations of moms," Ostrom said. "Now we are making our kids' department even better, by giving moms more of what they have said they want, including a better baby brand. Gerber Beginnings is helping us build an easy-to-shop baby business for new moms and gift givers."
Parents can interchange the coordinating Gerber Beginnings pieces, which range in price from $9 to $18, during the day or night. Most of the pieces come in sizes 0-3, 3-6 and 6-9 months. The collection debuts in three different pastel colors -- "Blueberry Ice," "Pink Parfait" or "Lemon Sorbet" -- with playful prints, intricate embroideries and delicate trims. Gerber Beginnings will anchor Sears' new-and-improved layette department, with prominent displays and signing.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. With revenues in 2003 of $41.1 billion, the company offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,300 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the U.S. and Canada, which includes approximately 870 full-line and 1,100 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through http://www.sears.com/ , http://www.landsend.com/ , and specialty catalogs. Sears is the only retailer where consumers can find each of the Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End brands together -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the largest provider of product repair services with more than 14 million service calls made annually.
Gerber Childrenswear is a division of the Kellwood Company (NYSE: KWD), a $2.3 billion marketer of apparel and consumer soft goods.
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
CONTACT: Jenny Kustra-Quinn of Sears, Roebuck and Co., +1-847-286-3503,
or Jeanne Dullea of Gerber Childrenswear, +1-864-987-5331
Web site: http://www.sears.com/