Sears begins selling Alexa-enabled appliances on Amazon

Posted July 21, 2017

Sears sells big-ticket Kenmore appliances such as refrigerators and air-conditioners only in its Sears, Kmart and Sears Hometown stores.

However, in a statement, Charlie Kindel, director of the Alexa Smart Home at Amazon, indicated Alexa-enabled Kenmore washing machines could be next.

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. The Alexa enabled air conditioners start at $379.99 for Kenmore Smart 8,000 BTU Room Air Conditioner.

SHLD says the move marks the broadest distribution of Kenmore outside of Sears branded stores and related online retail platforms. As well as Alexa integration, there's also a Kenmore Smart app for smartphones which can be used remotely to adjust temperature, set schedules, and control fan speed.

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The company's Sears Home Services and Innovel Solutions units will supply service for delivery, installation, and extended product protection for Kenmore products sold on Amazon. It will expand the distribution to include all Kenmore home appliances. For the first time, Sears is selling its line of Kenmore products on Amazon.

Shares of Sears Holdings, based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, jumped more than $1, nearing $10 per share, in premarket trading. The chain has considering selling additional lines, including its DieHard auto batteries and Kenmore appliances businesses, and is unloading its vast real estate holdings.

Syncing Kenmore gadgets with Alexa, which will allow users to control the gadgets with voice commands, could add to the brand's appeal.

"We continuously look for opportunities to enhance the reach of our iconic brands to more customers and create additional value from our assets", said Edward S. Lampert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sears Holdings.