In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) has admitted it truly needs help.
Sears announced Thursday, July 20, that it will sell its Kenmore appliances on Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - Get Report) , including a new line of Kenmore Smart appliances featuring Amazon's Alexa. In other words, it's taking its most treasured brand and partnering with the company that's done the most to hasten its demise. Amazon will be Sears' largest distributor outside its own stores and e-commerce channels.
The deal comes more than a year after Sears' announcement in May 2016 that it would explore alternatives for its Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Sears Home Services businesses. Stanley Black & Decker Inc. (SWK - Get Report) paid an initial consideration of $525 million for Craftsman in January, with the deal valued at up to $900 million.
"We continuously look for opportunities to enhance the reach of our iconic brands to more customers and create additional value from our assets," Sears CEO Eddie Lampert said in a statement Thursday "The launch of Kenmore products on Amazon.com will significantly expand the distribution and availability of the Kenmore brand in the U.S."
The companies said they plan to expand the deal to include all Kenmore U.S. home appliances and "white-glove service for delivery, installation and extended product protection." With the Alexa partnership, for example, customers can use Alexa voice-activated technology to instruct their Kenmore air conditioner to a certain temperature.
Amazon and Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT - Get Report) recently have expanded significantly their appliance offerings, once a leading Sears business. Now the retailer's appliance sales rank third at $3.8 billion in 2016, down 9.5% year over year, below Lowe's Cos. (LOW - Get Report) , where appliance sales rose 7.9% to $7.1 billion, and Home Depot Inc. (HD - Get Report) , where appliance sales rose 11.1% to $5.9 billion.
Sears shares jumped about 10.6% on Thursday's trading session, but they fell 4.6% on Friday afternoon.
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