Sears, Roebuck & Co., struggling to deliver its softer side to customers with more fashionable merchandise, named Mark Cohen, 50, president of softlines, a new post with responsibility for apparel, footwear and home fashions products. Those categories used to be overseen by Robert Mettler, president of merchandising for full-line stores. Mr. Mettler has left the company, and that title has been eliminated. Mr. Cohen will retain responsibility for marketing of all Sears retail stores. He took over as Sears exec VP-marketing in January and last month launched a new branding effort for the retailer under the tag "The good life at a great price. Guaranteed". Industry analysts said Sears was not just losing out to stiff competition from discounters and specialty stores but also was troubled by its own inability to provide compelling apparel to back its ad message.
Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.