Although the Kardashians partnered with Sears to launch their clothing line last year, the partnership doesn’t seem to have helped the company. In fact, it could have ended up hurting Sears in more ways than one. The obvious reason is that the family has been under public scrutiny after Kim’s very public separation from Kris Humphries and rumors of the family earning millions from the wedding, which was supposedly a publicity stunt. Many, who found the family bearable before the wedding, downright stopped supporting the family’s product and business ventures due to the disrespect for the union of marriage.
But another reason why the collaboration isn’t working out is the message the sisters’ clothing line is sending when being featured on the shelves of Sears. According to associate professor of marketing at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, Anthony Durkes, Sears has simply lost its way. “They’ve lost their way. They have a future if they can find a space in retail that they can occupy.” Mixing a modern clothing line like the Kardashians with the 70s feel of the department store sends the wrong message. Customers don’t know how to accept the store and brand anymore.
In fact, the main focus lies in the fact that the department store sells products like appliances next to the Kardashian clothing collection “Trying to market new items such as a clothing line by reality show stars the Kardashian sisters in an old-fashioned store more conducive to selling washing machines can be a tough sell,” says Steve Buxbaum, a retail consultant and executive vice president of the Buxbaum Group. The appliances take the clothing collection from the upscale garments to household items.
And perhaps this is why the collection isn’t selling as well as one predicted. In fact, it seems that Sears had hoped a little that the family’s clothing line would save the business, but it seems that a complete reinvention and rebranding campaign is required.