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Kmart leverages star power to grow apparel sales

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Select Kmart locations will carry apparel and accessories collections developed by pop superstars Adam Levine and Nicki Minaj in an effort to boost sales. Both collections will also be available via the ShopYourWay.com social shopping platform.

"We are thrilled to align Kmart and Shop Your Way with two of America's superstars," said Imran Jooma, EVP and president of marketing and online at Sears Holdings, Kmart’s parent company. "We welcome Adam and Nicki into our world and look forward to capturing their energy and creativity on ShopYourWay.com and translating it into unique apparel, accessories and other merchandise."

Shop Your Way is a free membership program and shopping community that offer rewards, personalized deals, product reviews, contests and sweepstakes. Both stars will offer interactive content, dream experiences for followers and special promotions involving their new collections.

Word of the collaboration with Minaj and Levine came one day after Kmart reported a 3.8% same store sales decline for the first nine weeks of its fourth quarter. As certifiable pop superstars, Minaj and Levine may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the duo could be just what Kmart needs to breathe some vitality into its apparel offering, especially with younger shoppers.

Minaj is a rapper, songwriter and voice actress. She recently re-released her second studio album, "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded The Re-Up," which originally dropped April 2012, and has sold one million copies worldwide, making it one of the bestselling albums of 2012, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Minaj is in the middle of her Pink Friday: Reloaded Tour, after which she will be a judge alongside Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey and Keith Urban on the upcoming season of American Idol.

"I am so excited to work with this iconic, mass retailer and to bring affordable fashion to my beautiful barbz all across the U.S.," Minaj said, referring to her fans.

Meanwhile, Levine is the front man of Grammy Award-winning recording artist Maroon 5. Maroon 5's new album “Overexposed” was released in 2012 and an instant hit. The group was recently nominated for two Grammy Awards in the categories of Best Pop Performance and Best Pop Album. These recognitions mark the 11th Grammy nomination for the three-time Grammy award-winning band. Maroon 5 will kick off a U.S. tour in February. In addition to his work with Maroon 5, Adam is a coach on the NBC hit television series "The Voice."

"Partnering with Shop Your Way to develop this line was an exciting opportunity for me and I am really looking forward to diving into the process of designing an apparel and accessory collection," said Adam Levine.

Kmart will look to leverage Minaj’s and Levine’s exposure and pull some of the traffic both pop stars generate into its stores.