• Retail Dive

Kmart releases new Adam Levine line amid store closings


Dive Brief:

· Kmart says it's helping Adam Levine celebrate his March 18 birthday with a new spring/summer collection designed with Sears "Shop Your Way" creative director Kevin Christiana, who has worked with Levine on the tie-up for the past couple of years.

· The new collection is vintage-inspired, featuring everyday basics with an edgy twist like hoodie sweatshirts, joggers, graphic T-shirts, bombers and denim jackets, priced at $35 or lower, according to a company press release emailed to Retail Dive.

· The Kmart-Levine partnership first launched in 2013, with Levine saying he had "complete creative control." The retailer's woes led Gawker to wonder in 2015 if the star was ditching his own collection when he didn't show up New York Fashion Week that year. But a Kmart spokesperson told Retail Dive this week that he and Kmart are happy to be bringing affordable fashion to Kmart customers.

Dive Insight:

Kmart is soldiering on with a celebrity fashion collaboration, which, according to its own recent research, needs to include clothing that people actually will wear and that reflect a customer's identity and lifestyle at least as much as the celebrity designer. Kmart's poll also uncovered a tough truth, however: Many consumers aren't looking for apparel to define their identity at all.

Kmart is at something of a disadvantage battling that problem. In January, parent company Sears Holdings announced it would shutter 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores by spring, just the latest in a series of store closures that have drastically shrunk two of the once most ubiquitous banners in American retail.

Sears and Kmart, along with Macy's and J.C. Penney, are "future-proofing their offerings by closing stores," according to a recent report from retail think tank Coresight (formerly Fung Global Retail & Technology).

"We estimate that these closures will result in a total of $2.5 billion in annual sales being freed up for alternative retailers to grab," the report noted. "Approximately $1 billion of that total will come from Macy's closures, $1 billion from Sears and Kmart closures, and $500 million from J.C. Penney closures, we estimate." Fung analysts added that, based on shopper preference data, Macy's was likely to retain the highest share of sales from closed stores and Sears would see the lowest retention rates.

Around $1.5 billion, or 60% of those relinquished sales, will be in the apparel category, which includes footwear and accessories, according to that report. The new collection stamped with Adam Levine's name is unlikely to move the needle, however.

Kohl's and J.C. Penney will benefit from the closures, even though Penneyhas also shuttered underperforming locations. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison himself recently said that he's gunning for Sears' lost appliance sales.


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