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Sears to sell Kenmore brand on Amazon

21 July, 2017, 01:02 | Author: Lydia Fleming
  • Kenmore breaks free of brick and mortar with Amazon deal

GE and Whirlpool have already integrated similar support across their respective products, and now "the full line of Kenmore smart appliances" - air conditioners, refrigerators, and more - can be controlled with a new Alexa skill, Kenmore Smart. Customers can enable the Kenmore Smart skill in the Alexa Skill Store, link their account and then begin asking Alexa to interact with their Kenmore Smart appliances.

But as Amazon extends into industries from social networks to grocery delivery, the deal with Sears is raising questions about the extent to which home-improvement stores can withstand competition from the ecommerce giant.

Though Sears warned earlier this year there was "substantial doubt" about its long-term survival, the company has announced a series of measures created to give the company a fighting chance.

The partnership will allow customers to integrate "smart" Kenmore appliances with Amazon's artificial intelligence program Alexa, enabling customers to turn up their air conditioner "without leaving the sofa", Sears said.

The announcement comes just three weeks after Nike said it would begin selling its products directly through Amazon, joining a number of big-name companies including Samsung, Microsoft and Bose in doing business on the site.


But some seemed unconvinced that the deal could do much to reverse Sears' misfortunes.

Amazon, meanwhile, was No. 14 on the TWICE ranking, with $228 million in major appliance sales in 2016.

"This will significantly expand distribution and expose the brand to new customers, and we're hopeful it will lead to a lot more sales", said Kenmore Brand President Tom Park.

Sears announced the Amazon launch in a press release Thursday. The deal marks the broadest distribution of Kenmore products, outside of Sears branded stores and related online retail platforms. At around 11 a.m., Home Depot and Lowe's shares were down around 6 percent, while Best Buy was down more than 3 percent. The company's stock has lost almost 95 percent of its value in the past decade, from a peak of $195.18 a share in 2007.

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