Shares of Sears sprang to life on Thursday after a deal with Amazon was revealed where the retailer would sell Alexa-enabled appliances. Shares were up as much as 25% before the market even opened.
The department store chain announced that it would be selling Kenmore-branded appliances on the world’s biggest online retail website that will be integrated with the Alexa platform.
“The launch of Kenmore products on Amazon.com will significantly expand the distribution and availability of the Kenmore brand in the U.S.,” stated Sears CEO Eddie Lampert.
“At the same time, Sears Home Services and our Innovel Solutions unit will benefit from the relationship as more customers experience their quality services for Kenmore products purchased on Amazon.com.”
The “Kenmore Smart” skill for Amazon’s Alexa will let customers control their appliaces such a changing heat or air conditioning settings.
“This is consistent with Sears’ aim of becoming more of a remote seller of strong brands without the encumbrance of expensive real estate,” remarked GlobalData Retail Managing Director Neil Saunders to CNBC.
“The move makes sense as it puts Sears’ brand products where customers are shopping and gives them a better chance
“That said, in the short term it may create even fewer reasons to visit Sears’ shops, which could put further pressure on that side of the business.”
“It also puts Sears into a marketplace which is very price competitive and where fulfillment costs are high; this is something that may be challenging for margins.”
Disclaimer: We have no position in Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ: SHLD) and have not been compensated for this article.