INTERNATIONAL NEWS: LaForce to handle PR for Sears' fall launch ofnew Covington label

CHICAGO: Sears is taking on New York-based LaForce & Stevens to handle what's likely to be a major national PR campaign to highlight the launch of its new Covington clothing line.

CHICAGO: Sears is taking on New York-based LaForce & Stevens to handle what's likely to be a major national PR campaign to highlight the launch of its new Covington clothing line.

Sears announced the new label two weeks ago, but merchandise bearing the Covington name won't be in stores until after Labor Day. PR efforts will precede the fall rollout.

The brand replaces eight others that Sears now sells and represents the first time Sears will have one brand of clothing for men, women, and children.

"By reducing the number of brands, customers will find it easier to shop at Sears, and we'll be able to put our marketing muscle behind one brand,

said Lee Antonio, PR director for Sears soft lines' marketing and customer relationship management.

Sears decided on LaForce after asking fashion editors for recommendations for effective PR agencies. Two agencies were interviewed; Antonio would not identify the other agency, saying only that it is New York-based.

Sears picked LaForce because "they are a creative shop that understands the fashion industry and understands what analysts want too,

said Antonio.

LaForce will work on media relations and media event-planning for the new line. Agency principal James LaForce will oversee a five- to eight-person account team.

Sears could eventually use the Covington name on other products such as linens or bedding, and "LaForce & Stevens could be brought in on other projects too,

Antonio said.

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