April 16, 2013, 8:39 AM

Sears links up with celebrities

The retailer’s new business unit sells product lines from singers like Nicki Minaj.

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Sears Holdings Corp. has launched a business division called Shop Your Way Brands that focuses on developing fashion and lifestyle brands with celebrities such as pop singers Adam Levine and Nicki Minaj.

The chain will sell the items on Kmart.com, in Kmart stores and on ShopYourWay.com, a social shopping platform Sears has launched.

ShopYourWay.com enables users who sign up for the site to follow their friends and brands there. When a shopper follows a consumer or brand it enables her to see content, such as a photo or product review, that the consumer or brand has posted to the site. That approach, Sears says, helps shoppers discover new products both from brands’ posts and other consumers writing reviews on the site. The site also links the loyalty accounts consumers hold with Sears—the loyalty program is called Shop Your Way—to shoppers’ ShopYourWay.com activity.

Sears, No. 8 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, named Bernt Ullman to lead Shop Your Brands. Ullman also was president and CEO of management, consulting and licensing firm Star Branding. "Working with Sears Holdings, Adam Levine, Nicki Minaj and their fans is a very exciting opportunity," says Ullmann.  "Our proven ability to create compelling entertainment-based lifestyle brands combined with Adam Levine and Nicki Minaj's significant talent, and Sears Holdings' visionary position in retail and online communities create a powerful fashion proposition for the consumer."

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