Updated from 12:23 p.m. EST
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Exclusivity has become the golden gem for retailers, with companies scrambling to form branded partnerships, acquire unique merchandise and localize their products. But in true Sears' (SHLD - Get Report) fashion, billionaire Edward Lampert is doing the complete opposite.
The flailing department store is allowing other retailers to sell its storied brands like DieHard and Craftsman. Shoppers no longer even need to step into a Sears store to pick up what are still considered high-quality brands. Craftsman tools can be found in Ace Hardware and Costco Wholesale (COST - Get Report), while DieHard car batteries can be found at Meijer.
There's also talk that Sears is looking to sell secondary Kenmore products at Costco. This would be the first time in the brand's 84-year history that it would be carried at a retailer other than Sears and Kmart.Our strategies for "externalizing" the brands center on reaching new customers and generating new brand enthusiasts who will fully realize their loyalty and commitment to our brands at Sears," said Sears spokesperson Chris Brathwaite. Sears has also taken to leasing out space in its massive fleet of 3,700 department stores to retailers like Forever 21, Whole Foods Market (WFM), Edwin Watts Golf Shops and Work 'N Gear, as wells as grocery and fitness clubs. It is marketing its real estate portfolio online at SHCRealty.com. "The ISL