Hearst’s Country Living to Launch Home Goods Line

Seeking to promote its association with comfort in today’s troubled economic times, Hearst Magazines’ Country Living will launch an expansive new line of home goods in Kmart and Sears stores that emphasizes coziness and affordability.
 
Country Living already has an extensive brand empire that spans specialty foods, furniture, books and home décor. Rolling out in August in 1,200 Kmart and 500 Sears stores, the new County Living Collection will be its biggest licensing effort to date in terms of the number of product categories it encompasses.

The 700-SKU line will include bedding, bath, tabletop and furniture items in four different styles: Modern Countryside, Blue & White, Red & White and Faded Antique.

To appeal to consumers who have tightened their spending habits, items will be priced starting at $3.99 (candles) and go up to $349 (dining furniture).
 
Comfort and value are playing a greater role in the 1.6-million circulation magazine itself. A redesign effective with the May issue under new editor Sarah Gray Miller puts the tagline, “Come Home to Comfort,” on the cover. A new shopping section includes items labeled as having discounts exclusive to Country Living readers.
 
The new home products will complement recent efforts by both retailers to sell more in the way of soft home merchandise, with the addition of lines like Cannon and Ty Pennington Style.
 
Retail extensions also have become increasingly popular among magazines as they look for ways to extend their reach to consumers. Prominent examples are Martha Stewart Living, with its extensive product lines at Kmart and Wal-Mart; Better Homes and Gardens, which last year began selling branded home goods like bedding and dinnerware through Wal-Mart; and Real Simple, which has been broadening its line of household goods sold through Target.