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Space made for TV craftsman at Sears
Could television carpenter Ty Pennington be the next Martha Stewart?
Sears, Roebuck and Co. Wednesday said it has signed the craftsman of cable's TV's "Trading Spaces" and ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" to a multiyear deal that includes product development as well as a spokesman's role.
"He's a designer at heart, a very creative guy," said Lee Antonio, a spokeswoman at Sears' Hoffman Estates headquarters. "He's got cool design ideas and will be working with our design teams in designing and developing new products."
A one-time model trained as a graphic designer, Pennington already designs furniture, which he sells online from his Web site, tythehandyguy.com.
Bob Vila, the former "This Old House" host, remains in the Sears marketing lineup. But in a promotional role tied to "Extreme Makeover," Pennington proved broad appeal beyond the tool set.
"Bob is most closely associated with Craftsman tools. Ty could be affiliated with lawn and garden, home electronics, apparel, home fashions--really anything in the store," Antonio said.
Still, Sears is not saying what projects Pennington will be involved in beyond a publicity role in the Sears American Dream Campaign, a $100 million community development effort.
In a conference call Wednesday, Sears declined to say whether Pennington would appear in ads or lend his name to a line of proprietary products--as Martha Stewart did with Kmart Holding Corp. or Chris Madden with J.C. Penney Co.
"Sears totally gets today's family lifestyle and has the best products and services designed to deliver that ideal to the American consumer," Pennington said.
"As part of the Sears product design and marketing teams, I'll be celebrating Sears as the good life partner at home and at play, full of new ideas, exciting products and a tremendous sense of style," he said.
Tribune staff reporter Becky Yerak contributed to this report.