T. Eaton Co. Ltd. will usher in a new era with spas, fine food and possibly even high-profile retail names -- like FAO Schwarz for toys -- as the department store chain prepares to reopen next fall under its new owner.
Sears Canada Inc., which bought Eaton's late last year, will also change the chain's logo and lettering -- bringing in a lower-case e and no apostrophe in Eaton's -- in a bid to give the 130-year-old retail icon a fresh look, Sears chairman Paul Walters said.
Sears scooped up Eaton's after it went into bankruptcy protection. Seven Eaton's stores in the country's major cities will be resurrected in the fall.
"The new branding is very contemporary -- it's a fresh new look," Mr. Walters said in a telephone interview from Florida, where he is attending a conference.
"We wanted to change almost everything, including the execution of the name. It's not going to be just the same old Eaton's."
He said the new stores will each have a spa close to the all-important cosmetics and fragrance sections. Sears is still in negotiations with spas to come in and operate in the new stores, he said. "You see it more in world-class department stores, like Bloomingdale's or Marshall Fields."
The stores still stock fine food and bring in restaurants to run within the outlets. Sears is also in talks with "a number of people" about bringing in outside food specialists.
And in a bid to introduce new departments to the chain, Sears is talking with other retailers to offer their specialty goods. He mentioned FAO Schwarz as an example -- one of the best-known names in toy retailing. Books and videos are other areas where Eaton's may find an outside retailing partner.
"Not everything will be there on Day One," Mr. Walters added. "It will evolve."
The logo will be refashioned, too. "Lower-case letters are a little more contemporary," Mr. Walters said. "It's the way Bloomindale's uses them."
He said lower-case letters portray a younger image and tie in with the new Internet age. This will work well with the new Web site that is planned for Eaton's.
The elimination of the apostrophe will be another break with the past, giving the name a "cleaner" look, he said.
Mr. Walters said the outlets generally will have a more open and modern look, and giant "power graphics" -- or posters -- will appear on the outside of the stores.