SEARS CANADA IS PUTTING HOCKEY-LEGEND-WAYNE-GRETZKY’S NAME BACK ON A CLOTHING LABEL. “THE GREATS” FIRST NAME-ON-A-LABEL VENTURE WAS WITH THE HUDSON’S BAY COMPANY IN 1999 WHERE HIS NAMESAKE LABEL WAS COMPRISED OF CORPORATE CASUAL ESSENTIALS. AFTER SEVERAL SUCCESFUL SEASONS, IT WAS DISCONTINUED FOR UNDISCLOSED REASONS. WELCOME BACK WAYNE!
April 23, 2015 Updated : April 23, 2015 | 11:45 am
Sears Canada Inc. announced Thursday that it is partnering with Wayne Gretzky to launch a new line of better casual menswear in the fall of 2015, exclusive to Sears.
The struggling retailer has also scooped up the popular Cherokee clothing line and Liz Lange Maternity, both of which were exclusive to Target Canada before it closed its last stores earlier this month.
The Cherokee and Liz Lange lines will launch at Sears in the spring of 2016.
The partnerships were announced by Sears Canada president and chief executive officer Ron Boire at the Sears Canada annual general meeting, held at head office at Toronto Eaton Centre Thursday morning.
Boire spent little time discussing the department store retailer’s dismal 2014 performance, focusing instead on what lies ahead.
The company recorded a net loss of $338.8 million in fiscal 2014.
“Clearly 2014 was a year of transition,” said Boire.
Boire said the company will continue to focus on selling high-quality products at fair prices to attract consumers and on cutting costs. It plans to bulk up in areas with higher margins where it does well, such as mattresses, while exiting electronics in full-line department stores.
It will continue to invest in technology, launching a new website next month.
Sears Canada remains open to the idea of more real estate deals, Boire said.
The most recent deal saw Sears Canada sell three properties in B.C. and Alberta to a real estate development firm for $140-million and lease them back.
The Gretzky clothing line will provide men with a “neat, contemporary look centered on reinventing the classics,” according to the details of a company release.
“The Wayne Gretzky brand will give men a complete look that can be worn from the office to dinner, from the arena to the café. Featuring knit tops, pants and sports jackets starting at $39.99, this new brand focuses on classic pieces with rich fabrics such as mercerized cottons, cashmeres and merino wool.”
About 550 cheering fans attended Wayne Gretzky’s official launch of his new collection of corporate casual essentials for fall 1999 on October 2 at the Bay department store in Vancouver, Canada.