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HIGHLIGHTING APPAREL, SEARS MODERNIZES SIX MICHIGAN STORES

 DETROIT, May 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Sears Merchandise Group said today it is investing about $6.3 million in 1993 to renovate six Michigan stores located in Bay City, Dearborn, Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Saginaw and Waterford.
 This statewide initiative is part of the five-year, $4 billion capital expenditure plan Sears announced earlier this year, in which the retailer will upgrade and re-merchandise 500 stores over the next three years. The six Michigan stores are among 135 stores Sears will begin to upgrade this year.
 The focal points of the renovation program are the men's, women's and children's apparel departments, which will be updated in these Michigan stores to reflect Sears new emphasis on apparel merchandising. Each store's apparel assortment will be expanded by up to 30 percent. Customers will find a new department store look in Sears apparel departments with wider aisles, softer lighting, new carpeting and new merchandise display fixtures.
 "We are making these changes because we have a great apparel story to tell and to be responsive to our customers' shopping needs," said Joe McCurry, Sears district general manager for Michigan. "These stores, along with our 20 other retail stores in the state, are important to Sears. The changes, combined with our strong emphasis on customer service through our 'Pure-Selling Environment' program, will offer our customers a more pleasant shopping experience."
 The redesigned and expanded apparel departments in the six stores will offer Sears private-label and national brand merchandise. In "The Women's Store," Sears will feature activewear, sportswear, intimate apparel, career apparel, casual clothing, shoes and accessories such as belts, handbags and jewelry.
 The "Men's Store" offers national brands such as Arrow, Lee, Levi's, Dockers, Body Glove, Cotler, Farah, John Weitz and Munsingwear in its sportswear, activewear, furnishings and outerwear merchandise.
 "Kids & More" is the complete children's store offering a full line of children's apparel from sizes 0 to 20, infant furniture and accessories, and FunTronics shops featuring Sega and Nintendo games. Customers can find national brands such as Levi's, Lee, Dockers, OshKosh B'Gosh, Bugle Boy, Maverick by Wrangler and Reebok along with Sears franchise brands including Winnie-the-Pooh, McKids, Freeze Frame, MaxActive and Toughskins.
 Sears family footwear departments offer customers popular national brands such as Converse, Florsheim, Keds, LA Gear, Reebok and Wolverines along with Sears Trader Bay, I Luv Comfort, Main Frame, Apostrophe and DieHard private-label brands.
 Sears said the bulk of floor space for the apparel expansion program in each store is possible because it has moved its furniture departments out of the stores and into freestanding Sears Homelife furniture stores. Sears currently is planning to open Homelife stores in Ann Arbor, Flint and Pontiac. Sears opened Homelife stores in Grand Rapids and Toledo, Ohio, in late 1992. Sears also has six Homelife stores in the greater Detroit metropolitan area.
 Additionally, at the Bay City Mall store the home fashions department will be returning to the store as a result of the renovation program. Draperies, bath towels, bed linens and other merchandise will be displayed in about a 4,100-square-foot area in the store.
 As previously announced, "Office Center at Sears Brand Central" departments will be constructed in the Grand Rapids and Muskegon stores. "Office Centers" average about 2,000 square feet and offer name brand computers, home-office equipment and communications merchandise primarily for home-based businesses and business-people working from offices in their homes. The new departments will open May 28.
 Sears said the renovation programs are already in progress or will start soon in each of the six Michigan stores and expects most of the work to be completed by early fall. Sears completed the renovation and re-merchandising of its Benton Harbor, Mich., store last fall.
 -0- 5/27/93
 /CONTACT: Perry Chlan of Sears, 708-286-7079/
 (S)


CO: Sears, Roebuck ST: Michigan, Illinois IN: REA SU:

JG -- DE024 -- 2910 05/27/93 11:36 EDT
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Date:May 27, 1993
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