It's far from a summer Thursday in business news.
Here are several top stories you have probably missed.
Sears Gets Crafty
Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) will still go up in flames, despite its latest magic act.
Sears announced Thursday 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. Sears shares jumped 12%. Shares of appliance rivals Home Depot (HD - Get Report) and Lowe's (LOW - Get Report) dived.
In other words, Sears is 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., where appliance sales rose 7.9% to $7.1 billion, and Home Depot Inc., where appliance sales rose 11.1% to $5.9 billion.
The Amazon deal follows another bit of craftiness on the part of Sears lately as it tries to stay alive.
Full story here.
Chipotle Gets Sick, Again
"Fire the CEO. What more can I say?" Howard Penney, managing director at Hedgeye Risk Management, told TheStreet in an interview on Thursday, July 20, after The Wall Street Journal revealed that 133 customers reported getting sick on iwaspoisoned.com after eating at the Sterling, Va., Chipotle restaurant. Previously, news out on Tuesday said that there were only 13 people affected.
"As a restaurant, you can't break rule No. 1, which is to not get the customer sick," Penney said.
Full story here.
Elon Musk Being Elon Musk
A Hyperloop is a super-speed rail line placed either above or below ground and could ultimately help transport goods and people nearly as fast as 700 miles an hour.
Full story here.
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