May 27, 2008 / 9:05 PM / 12 years ago

Sears to offer LL Cool J clothing line

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Sears, Roebuck and Co, a subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corp SHLD.O, said on Tuesday it will roll out an exclusive line of clothing named for rapper LL Cool J in its stores this fall.

Sears said the line will initially be carried in 450 stores, with plans to increase distribution by the holiday season.

The retailer said LL Cool J clothing will be offered in the juniors, kids and young men’s departments, with plans to also offer accessories.

In a statement, Sears said the offering reflected “an ongoing commitment to increase our relevance in the apparel industry” and to sell trendy, affordable fashions. In addition to being a recording artist, LL Cool J also stars in television shows and films.

The move comes as Sears rivals have ramped up their unique clothing offerings. For example, Kohl’s Corp (KSS.N) announced earlier this year it was partnering with rock star Avril Lavigne to launch Abbey Dawn, an apparel and jewelry collection.

Sears Holdings, based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, is reorganizing into different business units to compete better. The company, which also operates Kmart stores, is expected to report lower first-quarter earnings later this week.

The company’s shares fell 86 cents, or about 1 percent, to $87.09 in Nasdaq trading on Tuesday.

Reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta and Nicole Maestri in New York; Editing by Andre Grenon

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