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Sears to Make News

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Sears Roebuck and Co. is partnering with several local news stations to produce live radio and TV spots promoting the opening of its new urban store.

Radio spots will likely feature Bob Wallace, a WBBM radio reporter, interviewing Sears' home improvement spokesman Bob Villa at the May 23 opening of Sears on State Street in downtown Chicago, a Sears representative said.

Plans also call for live TV spots from the store through a partnership with WMAQ-TV. The commercials will showcase Sears' tools experts and feature other live vignettes. Neither partnership is news coverage of the store's opening, the representative said, and each is designed to be a commercial that breaks during regular programming.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill., retailer is planning a mix of 17, 30- and 60-second radio and TV spots that will air locally May 23-25.

While details are still sketchy, the plans follow a number of marketing initiatives for the new store.

Outdoor print by Ogilvy & Mather breaks today. The Chicago shop created several executions promoting the store's opening and some print that will just highlight Sears' brands, such as Craftsman tools. The work will be placed on buses and trains and on transportation property.

In one execution, two boys on an urban street stand next to a washer and dryer and offer to wash people's clothes for 25 cents. The copy reads, "Sears on State coming to Chicago May 23."

Earlier this month, Sears signed a one-year lease for the billboard visible to Chicago Cubs fans at Wrigley Field, with the initial sign advertising the new store. K