SAN DIEGO ( TheStreet) -- Wearing a $35,000 Rolex can certainly help spruce up one's image. But what about selling such an expensive watch? How far does that go toward image improvement? The seller in question is Sears ( SHLD), a retail giant most Americans have long associated with value shopping and items such as washers and dryers, refrigerators and tools. The selling of luxury items, however, including Rolex watches, Stella McCartney clothing, Jimmy Choo shoes and Chanel handbags has garnered the company a lot of press in recent weeks. The items are being sold by third-party vendors on a part of the Sears website known as the Marketplace. Their appearance among the more than 85 million items Sears sells online has many journalists and retail analysts wondering if Sears is trying to upgrade its blue-collar image -- or even positioning itself to take on two other e-commerce giants -- Amazon ( AMZN) and eBay ( EBAY). A Sears representative says the company has been selling various ultra-expensive items on its website for quite some time.
Whether the strategy will pay off remains to be seen, analysts say, as adding luxury items to the Sears Marketplace may simply leave consumers befuddled.