Sears and Amazon; Alexa, turn up my Kenmore air conditioner

Sears will begin selling its appliances on Amazon.com, including smart appliances that can be synced with Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa.

The announcement before the opening bell Thursday sent shares of Sears soaring more than 20 percent. The tie-up with the internet behemoth could give shares of the storied retailer one of its biggest one-day percentage gains ever.

Sears, which also owns Kmart, said that its Kenmore Smart appliances will be fully integrated with Amazon's Alexa, allowing users to control things like air conditioners through voice commands.

"The launch of Kenmore products on Amazon.com will significantly expand the distribution and availability of the Kenmore brand in the U.S.," Chairman and CEO Edward Lampert said in a company release.

Sears has struggled with weak sales for years, and announced more store closings earlier this month, partly due to the emergence of Amazon.com and other internet operators. Sears had said in March that there was "substantial doubt" it could continue after years of bleeding money.

Many on Thursday took the agreement with Amazon.com as a lifeline, with the volume of trading in Sears shares just before the opening bell enormous.

Amazon has changed the face of retail since it became a public company more than 20 years ago. It recently began offering discounts on its Prime membership for people who receive government assistance, making a play for the low-income shoppers at places like Walmart. And it announced last month that it was testing a new wardrobe service that lets members of its Prime program try on styles before they put items on their charge card — at no upfront fee.

Shares of Sears Holdings, based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, jumped $1.77 to $10.45 in premarket trading.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Bill Gates reduces Microsoft stake with $4.6bn donation

Bill Gates reduces Microsoft stake with $4.6bn donation..

16-Aug, 03:40

Bill Gates has given away $4.6bn (?3.6bn) to charity in his largest...

Bath murder: Two charged after death of Tashan Corpe

Bath murder: Two charged after death of Tashan Corpe..

16-Aug, 03:10

Two people have been charged after a man was stabbed to death in his...

Love Island’s Olivia Attwood 'fakes' cosy night in with boyfriend Chris Hughes and plastic doll Cash Hughes?

Love Island’s Olivia Attwood 'fakes' cosy night in with boyfriend Chris Hughes and plastic..

16-Aug, 10:00

The pair are both clad in onesies, with Olivia hinting that they were...

Cartoonist illustrates Trump tweets, book hits Amazon top 10

Cartoonist illustrates Trump tweets, book hits Amazon top 10..

15-Aug, 22:30

A cartoonist hoping to provide a better understanding of “the mind we...

Saudi Arabia and UAE pledge $100M to women's fund Ivanka Trump supports

Saudi Arabia and UAE pledge $100M to women's fund Ivanka Trump supports..

22-May, 18:56

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged to give a total of...

Romanian court rules release of woman wanted in Turkey

Romanian court rules release of woman wanted in Turkey..

25-Jul, 05:40

Romania's Supreme Court has upheld a decision to release from custody a...

'This is a democracy': Int'l court may be next for Duterte

'This is a democracy': Int'l court may be next for Duterte..

16-May, 01:39

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte acknowledged Tuesday that...

Dutch to try suspects in Malaysia flight downed in Ukraine

Dutch to try suspects in Malaysia flight downed in Ukraine..

05-Jul, 04:24

The Dutch government says any suspects in the downing of Malaysia...