The Decline of Kenmore

September 4, 2018
Kitchen
Photo: Unsplash

Kenmore, the appliance brand for Sears, was one of the most profitable and innovative brands in the category. Today, Kenmore products can't compete. 

Sears' growing store closures, and manufacturer Whirlpool's choice to pull its products from Sears stores have helped to render the former flagship for consumers seeking to buy appliances uncompetitive, CNN reports. Mark Cohen, a former CEO of Sears Canada says that the uncertainty regarding Sears' future, along with fewer locations' offerings of Kenmore products may mean that, "People have concerns that they'll be able to service [the appliance], that they'll be able to get the part they need eight years down the line. They have to be confident that someone will be there to stand behind the product."

Fifteen years ago, Sears valued Kenmore at $2 billion, according to retail consultant Steve Dennis, who was once vice president of corporate strategy for Sears. Dennis said Sears had conducted the analysis in case it wanted to sell the brand. Now Sears CEO and primary shareholder Eddie Lampert is offering to have his hedge fund buy Kenmore for just $400 million. The independent members of the Sears board are weighing that offer.

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