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Sears, Kmart increase celebrity presence for back-to-school

August 13, 2010 |  6:14 pm

This year's back-to-school season is expected to be cutthroat, as retailers vie for limited consumer dollars by rolling out promotions and new brands.Audrina-bongo

At Sears and Kmart stores, expect to see more famous faces in the stores' advertising and marketing efforts.

Teen star Selena Gomez's apparel line, Dream Out Loud, is being sold exclusively at Kmart. Jeans brand Bongo, which is sold only at Sears and Kmart, recently signed Audrina Patridge of "The Hills" fame to be its newest spokesmodel. Kylie Jenner, younger sister to reality star Kim Kardashian, is hosting a six-week back-to-school contest for Sears called Crush Your Style.

"We don't want to alienate our core customers, but we want to make our brand for more customers. Celebrities help with that," said John Goodman, executive vice president of apparel and home for parent company Sears Holdings Corp. "We really want to make sure it's the right celebrity that will really be able to resonate with the kinds of customers we're trying to attract."

-- Andrea Chang

Photo: Audrina Patridge models Bongo jeans. The line is sold exclusively at Sears and Kmart. Credit: Kmart