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Press release from PR Newswire

Kmart® Responds To Changing Back-to-School Landscape With More School Uniform Choices And New Sales Periods

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Kmart® Responds To Changing Back-to-School Landscape With More School Uniform Choices And New Sales Periods08:00 EDT Wednesday, August 08, 2012Retailer's Merchandising and Marketing Efforts Address Stricter Dress Codes and Shortened Summer VacationsHOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- There are a number of new trends affecting the "back-to-school" experience for many school age Americans including the increase of public schools requiring uniforms and the adoption of a year-round school calendar.  In response, Kmart has adjusted its approach to back-to-school by increasing the number of stores that sell uniforms and aligning its back-to-school sales periods by region to match that of the local school districts.  (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120808/CG54014-INFO)"As the back-to-school landscape changes, Kmart is making the necessary adjustments to provide customers the merchandise they need, when they need it," said Andy Stein, interim chief marketing officer, Kmart.  "By offering school uniforms in more markets such as Chicago and New York and online, and shifting the back-to-school sales periods in applicable markets such as California and Hawaii we can provide greater value to our customers."  Twenty-three percent of all public and private schools in the U.S. now have a uniform policy, with public schools making-up the majority at about 19 percent.1  A number of large metropolitan areas have uniform requirements at the majority of their public schools including2:  95% of New Orleans' public schools require uniforms  85% of Cleveland's public schools require uniforms  80% of Chicago's public schools require uniforms  65% of Boston's public schools require uniforms  60% of Miami's public schools require uniforms  50% of Cincinnati's public schools require uniforms As the number of schools requiring uniforms has increased, the number of Kmart stores selling uniforms has expanded. Today, the retailer sells school uniforms online and at more than 450 locations across the U.S.  Because uniform requirements differ from one school district to another, Kmart has varied its in-store and online offerings from French Toast® and Dickies to reflect these differences.  For example Chicago features blue and white French Toast® shirts, whereas you'll find Dickies® pants for boys in the New York market. The retailer has also increased its marketing efforts to support this trend, including school uniforms in its weekly circulars for the back-to-school season and offering 20 percent off French Toast school uniform apparel and $7 polo shirts both in-store and online from August 12 until August 18.    In addition to school uniform requirements across the country, school districts in many states and cities have shifted to a year-round school calendar, most notably California has 1,322 year-round schools, Hawaii has 296 year-round schools and Arizona has 175 year-round schools.3 To deliver greater value, Kmart offers everyday low prices and services to accommodate the needs of parents that may have a different back-to-school spending schedule. For example, Kmart is the only mass retailer to offer layaway 365 days a year and Shop Your Way members receive special pricing and perks year-round. Editors' note: For more information and images, please visit http://kmartepk.com/ About KmartKmart, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), is a mass merchandising company and part of ShopYourWay, a social shopping experience where members have the ability to earn points and receive benefits across a wide variety of physical and digital formats through ShopYourWay.com.  Kmart offers customers quality products through a portfolio of exclusive brands that include Sofia by Sofia Vergara, Jaclyn Smith, Joe Boxer, Route 66 and Smart Sense. For more information visit the company's website at www.kmart.com |Sears Holdings Corporation website at www.searsholdings.com.| Facebook: www.facebook.com/kmart1 National Center For Education Statistics.  Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2011.  2 EducationBug.com Article: School Uniform Statistics  3National Association of Year Round Education.  Number of public, charter and private schools with year-round programs 2006-2007.  MEDIA CONTACTS:Shannelle Armstrong-Fowler Molly SheehanSears Holdings  Zeno Group(847) 286-0715  (312) 527-2SHC (2742)Shannelle.Armstrong@searshc.com Molly.Sheehan@zenogroup.com SOURCE Sears Holdings Corporation