Sears to sell Kenmore appliances on Amazon; shares jump

Sears appliances are now available

Shares of Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's (LOW) were falling on Thursday morning after Amazon.com (AMZN) and Sears (SHLD) announced that the department store retailer would begin selling its Kenmore brand appliances on the ecommerce website.

Sears, once the country's largest retailer, dominated the industry for years by building a collection of well-known brands such as Kenmore and DieHard as well as Craftsman, which it sold to Stanley Black & Decker earlier this year for an estimated $900 million. Shares of the department store chain are up almost 18%, following the launch of Kenmore products on Amazon.com, as well as the integration of the full line of Kenmore Smart appliances with Amazon Alexa. However, even if you buy an appliance through Amazon rather than at a Sears location, the company will still offer its own delivery and installation services.

The Kenmore Smart air conditioners with Alexa range in price from $379.99 to $739.99.

As an extra enticement for shoppers, Kenmore products listed on Amazon will integrate with popular voice-activated assistant Alexa.

Alexa controls Amazon Echo, a speaker which lets the user call a cab, order pizza or shop on Amazon among other things.




Owners of connected Kenmore products can say commands like "Alexa, tell Kenmore Smart to set my air conditioner to 70 degrees" to make adjustments without having to walk over and do it the old fashioned way: with buttons.

The deal to sell Alexa-activated devices could provide a modest boost to Sears' sagging sales, Retail Metrics President Ken Perkins said.

As the company has struggled to keep their branches running and profitable, it led the CEO to close down many branches as it had already went from 3,500 to 651 in just the past 6 years due to real estate struggles. The S&P 500 index is up almost 14% for the previous year.

The announcement Thursday sent shares of Sears soaring more than 18 per cent at the opening bell. On Wall Street, Sears stock surged on the news.

Thrilled investors drove Sears shares up 13.4% to $9.88 at 1:14 p.m.

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