Sears, which is struggling to stay afloat amid a vastly changing retail environment, is expanding its partnership with e-commerce giant Amazon to peddle its Alexa-enabled smart appliances to intenet shoppers in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties.
Over the summer, Sears began selling “smart” Kenmore air conditioning wall units across the U.S. through Amazon. Now, the retailer, which also owns Kmart, has expanded the Kenmore Smart line on Amazon to include large appliances such as laundry machines and refrigerators.
In addition, Southern California customers can buy standard Kenmore dishwashers, ovens, ranges and air and water treatment appliances through Amazon.
Southern California Amazon customers are the first to purchase the Smart Kenmore appliances, which work with Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa. Other West Coast and the Midwest markets are expected to offer Kenmore Smart appliances “later this month and into early October,” Sears said.
Nationwide availability of all Kenmore products, including small appliances, is slated for early 2018.
Tom Park, president of Sears’ Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard division, said the company chose to first debut the smart appliances for Amazon customers in Southern California because the Kenmore brand has strong recognition in the area.