Sears considering acquisition of Restoration Hardware

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Sears' purchase of a 13% stake in Restoration Hardware Inc. is an indication of a further upscale push from the mid-price retailer.

According to an SEC filing, Sears bought 3.4 million shares of the home furnishings retailer in November and is evaluating further moves. Earlier this month, Restoration Hardware announced a $267 million acquisition with Catterton Partners, which must still be approved by shareholders.

Multichannel expert Glenda Shasho-Jones, president of Shasho-Jones Direct Inc., said, “Sears didn't seem to nail it with Land's End.”

Sears acquired Land's End and opened in-store boutiques for the brand as a push into upscale apparel. Sears could see Restoration Hardware as its “upscale home furnishings vehicle,” Shasho-Jones added.

The question is whether Sears would open Restoration Hardware boutiques inside its stores or independently develop the brand which, unlike Land's End, already has a strong retail presence. A Sears spokesperson told DMNews that it had no comments outside of the filing.

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