The chain, which is in the process of closing hundreds of stores, pitched the partnership as a way to reach new customers and drum up sales for its 100-year-old flagship brand. Customers will also be able to control the company's smart appliances using Amazon’s voice-controlled assistant, Alexa.
“This is part of our plan to unleash the power of the Kenmore brand outside of Sears,” Tom Park, president of Kenmore, said in an interview. “We already have the best appliance bricks-and-mortar stores, and now we’re partnering with the best online retailer. This will expand our reach and introduce new customers to the brand.”
But some seemed unconvinced that the deal could do much to reverse Sears’ misfortunes. After all, these sorts of Amazon partnerships have sometimes not ended well.
“At the end of the day, Amazon gets a huge advantage and Sears gets to stay afloat for another week,” said Lee Peterson, executive vice president of brand, strategy and design for WD Partners. “It’s just a slow squeeze until goodbye.”
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.