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Kmart, Sears launch new leasing program for holiday season

BY Alaric DeArment

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Kmart will kick off the holiday shopping season by launching a new lease-to-own program in time for Black Friday, the massmerchandise retailer said Tuesday.

Kmart said it would launch the program through Whynot Leasing and make it available nationwide starting on Nov. 22. Sears, also part of parent company Sears Holdings, also is launching the program, making it available for more than 95 million items via Sears Marketplace, including electronics, home goods, jewelry and tools, as well as major brands and boutique items.

"This year’s holiday season is about savings and creating seamless shopping experiences for our Shop Your Way members, so we’re relentlessly focused on delivering a world-class integrated retail shopping platform that delivers on these benefits," Sears Holdings EVP and president of online, marketing, pricing and financial services Imran Jooma said. "Sears and Kmart are committed to helping members and customers find convenient and affordable ways to shop, without letting the joy of the season become overshadowed by stresses like financial concerns."

Members of the Shop Your Way loyalty program, whom the company said account for 65% of its sales, can access their benefits through a mobile app, which includes a new feature called Shop’In to help members save more during the season by checking in while shopping to access sales and load coupons to their smartphones. Other features include eCoupons, layaway, pay-in-store and Free Anyone, Anywhere Pickup, which allows friends or family to pickup items.

 

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Target collaborates with ‘Project Runway’ designer on Halloween wigs

BY Alaric DeArment

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Target is offering a limited-time assortment of wigs in collaboration with designer Chris March — as well as costumes for kids and pets, and accessories for adults — as part of its Halloween offering this year, the mass-merchandise retailer said.

"Halloween is such a fun time of year for kids and kids at heart," Target Canada SVP merchandising John Morioka said. "We want our Canadian guests to know that Target is the wallet-friendly destination for Halloween this year."

The retailer teamed up with March, a fashion and costume designer and former contestant on "Project Runway," to create the exclusive line of wigs. March designed the wigs based on his experience as a costume designer, including "Geisha," "Greaser," "Starlet," "Witch," "Medusa," "Monster Bride," "Mohawk" and "Afro." Wigs are priced at $20 or less.

 

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Dollar General, Unilever present grants totaling $72,500 to more than two dozen Charlotte-area schools

BY Michael Johnsen

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General, in partnership with Unilever, concluded the seventh annual "Reading Puts You on the Track to Victory" reading program last week by presenting grants totaling $72,500 to more than two dozen Charlotte-area elementary schools. The grants were presented to school leaders during pre-race ceremonies at the Dollar General 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 11. 

"This program is an innovative way to encourage young students to develop a love of reading, which is so important to their success in school and in life," stated Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO Dollar General. "Encouraging children to read and providing literacy grants to Charlotte-area schools exemplifies our mission of serving others. It’s rewarding to see so many children achieve the high goals they set for themselves by spending more time reading."

David Tehle, Dollar General’s executive vice president and chief financial officer (middle) and Krees Kruythoff, Unilever North America’s President (right) present a check for $72,500 to Charlotte-area educators in pre-race ceremonies at the Dollar General 300 as part of the Reading Puts You on the Track to Victory program. (Photo: Business Wire)

The program encourages students to read outside the classroom and achieve reading goals. More than 6,000 students from 28 local schools read for more than 2.8 million minutes. Each participating school received a $2,500 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

Over the past seven years, the program has awarded more than $350,000 to 40 Charlotte-area schools.

All participating schools received a collection of favorite childhood books from Dollar General and Unilever NASCAR drivers, and were eligible for other prizes. By averaging 285 minutes read, Ashley Park PreK-8 School won a driver read-aloud featuring Dollar General NASCAR drivers Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers. All children who met or exceeded their grade-level reading goals received a racing-themed prize. Jackson Kessler, a first-grader at Royal Oaks Elementary School, read more than 1,170 minutes and was this year’s grand prize winner, earning a special VIP experience at the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dollar General 300. He also received a collection of autographed books from Kenseth and Vickers, as well as Unilever NASCAR drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Regan Smith. 

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