Private Brand Protege from Sears


This past week I spent four days in New York City with my wife and as always I was on the lookout for Private Brands. Saturday was our big “wander the city day” and we began on Canal street the land of a thousand luxury brand knockoffs. We then made our way up the island for lunch at Jean George on Columbus Circle at One Central Park West. After a long day of exploring the city we headed back to our hotel in SOHO on the 1 train, as we sat down in the train I looked up to discover a Private Brand staring down at me: Protégé the value-priced basketball shoe Private Brand from Sears/Kmart. Looking around the car every ad space was occupied by Protégé, the ads alternated between Sears and Kmart.

Sears has recently expanded the Protégé line from Kmart to select Sears’s stores and will support the rollout with a summer tour, in partnership with the NBA, WNBA and D-League. According to Women’s Wear Daily, Protégé will stage 32 events in inner-city communities around the country. The events, in New York, Detroit, Miami and other cities, will feature fit clinics and appearances by NBA stars, including, of course, Protégé’s NBA frontman, Al Harrington of the New York Knicks.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.