Sears’ CMO Chow Departs

NEW YORK Sears said its CMO Joan Chow has left the company. Maureen McGuire, chief marketer for both Sears and Kmart’s retail divisions, is filling Chow’s position until a replacement is found.

Chow’s departure follows the Jan. 10 release of Sears Holdings’ November and December store sales, which were less than rosy. (Sears is a unit of Sears Holdings Corp., which also is parent to Kmart.)

For the nine-week period ended Dec. 30, Sears’ domestic comparable store sales declined 5.6 percent. The company attributed the decrease to lower lawn and garden and appliance sales, which were partially offset by an improvement in sales of women’s apparel during the period.

Kmart same-store sales decreased 1.2 percent due to lower transaction volumes, according to the company. Apparel sales, while negatively impacted by unseasonably warm weather, increased over the year-ago period.

Same-store sales at Sears Holdings have declined every quarter since Kmart merged with Sears Roebuck in 2005.

Chow joined the company in 1998 from Information Resources Inc., Chicago. In 2004, she was named a vp of corporate marketing.

Sears’ agency of record is WPP Group-owned Young & Rubicam in Chicago. The company spent $560 million on advertising in 2005, and $445 million from January to November 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.