Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
24 July 2017
The laughable Kenmore deal Sears just made
Oh my. Sears announces it’s selling Kenmore appliances on Amazon as part of a new deal. And experts believe this is a major step forward for the retailer.
Holy crap, they could not be more wrong.
Some hail the agreement as an “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” kind of effort. But it’s not even close to that. It’s a “If you can’t beat ‘em, let them kill us” deal.
“In fact, it works the other way around. You go to the store to research, and then buy it online. That’s like saying, ‘I’ll research what movies to watch on Netflix, then go to FYE in the mall to buy the DVD.'”
Of course, Sears (and its sister company, Kmart) bleeds money. More than 250 Sears and Kmart stores are closing this year. And the company itself said there is “substantial doubt” it can stay alive.
The Kenmore deal is great…for Amazon
Sears was once the king of retailers. Its catalogue was always highly anticipated. The retailer served as a mall within itself, sporting brands like Kenmore, Craftsman and others.
But Sears is selling Craftsman to Black and Decker, and now giving Kenmore to Amazon. Kenmore President Tom Park actually said, “People will see the brand on Amazon and research it and go to a Sears store.”
Hahaha. Are you kidding me? Park’s putting up a good front, but that’s just laughable. In fact, it works the other way around. You go to the store to research, and then buy it online. That’s like saying, “I’ll research what movies to watch on Netflix, then go to FYE in the mall to buy the DVD.”
We’ve long said Sears lost its way by giving away its value to its brands. Over time, the brand of Sears has meant nothing. Zilch. And its brands were negatively affected too. Sears tries to be everything to everybody but ends up being for nobody.
Right now, the one laughing is Amazon (and Kenmore, if its leaders are being honest). At some point, if Kenmore is smart, it’ll simply excise itself from Sears altogether and sell direct.
Then where will Sears be?
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