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Has The Structure Brand Crumbled?

Posted in Marketing

–Susan Perera, Attorney

Which brands come to mind when you think of Sears? Craftsman, Kenmore, Lands End? …what about Structure?

During a recent trip to Sears I found myself walking past this Sears sign for its clothing brand, Structure.   I was struck by a memory of the Structure men’s clothing store of the late ‘90s which vanished to be replaced by Express Men.

A bit of research reveals, Limited Brands (which has cultivated multiple store brands including: Express, The Limited, Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Lane Bryant, Lerner New York, and Galyan’s) sold the Structure brand to Sears in 2003 after it re-branded its clothing stores under the Express Men mark.

Oddly, I have been completely unaware of Sears’ ownership of the Structure brand during the past 7 years.   A search of the USPTO, shows two Structure trademarks owned by Sears. One word mark registered in 1989 for men’s and women’s clothing which was assigned to Sears, and a 2006 mark which was registered by Sears for men’s footwear.

Also interesting, for those of us keeping track of the trademarks, is that at least 5 Structure design marks were also assigned to Sears, all of which have been canceled (for failure to file a section 8 declaration).

Structure Sport & Design

Structure Sport & Design

Structure Jeanswear & Design

Structure Authentic Jeanswear & Design

Structure V X XX XXX XL & Design

Another 6 Structure & Design marks were never assigned to Sears and have also gone abandoned or have been canceled.

This makes me wonder, what was the advertising and marketing strategy behind this brand acquisition?   I find it interesting that a company would buy a brand (which from my own completely unscientific, unofficial survey, had quite strong customer good-will) only to let all of the design marks associated with the brand be canceled.

So what do you think of this strategy? And, were you aware of Sears’ ownership of Structure?

  • Andy

    I think the Structure brand gave Sears a great brand for young men’s apparel. The brand is still relevant with many of the same fashions going for much more in the retail mall stores.

  • AJ

    i was shocked to see a small sign with STRUCTURE on it as I was walking through SEARS on the way to the rest of the Mall.
    I must admit, about half my wardrobe from 1993-1999 was from STRUCTURE. They made some good clothes, then they were purchased by Express and overnight they went from nice clothes (similar to what Old Navy is today) to Metro-sexual tight fitting clothes that no normal male could ever where, unless he was fasting for about a year.
    I’m happy to see that Sears purchased them and brought the STRUCTURE name back with them. The clothes look nice & affordable. I’ll most likely give them another chance this Fall.