Appliance retailer Sears, Roebuck and Co. announced it is adding home appliances to 35 of its Sears Hardware stores. The stores have been re-named Sears Appliance and Hardware and will sell products in four core businesses including appliances, lawn and garden, paint, and tools.
"Sears is the leading retailer of appliances, with more than double the market share of our next closest competitor," said Beryl Buley, senior vice president and general manager of home stores for Sears, Roebuck and Co. "This format extends our appliance offering in a convenient new way, right in our customers' neighborhoods. We plan to add appliances to most of our remaining 103 hardware stores by year-end," Mr. Buley said.
The Sears Appliance and Hardware stores offer up to 260 appliance models, including up to 50 models that can be bought and taken home by customers the same day. Major appliances sold at the stores include: countertop microwaves, dishwashers, dryers, freezers, over-the-range microwaves, ranges, refrigerators, and washers. Sears has also increased its offering of economy appliances and is displaying appliances by brand in a "good," "better," "best" floor layout in the stores.
To make room for the appliances, Sears reduced the assortment of products in lower-demand categories, including cabinet and bath hardware, ceiling fans, and lighting. Sears also reduced the number of items available in some hardware lines, such as rough electrical and plumbing supplies. The company also extended displays of grills and patio furniture and improved lighting and visibility with the elimination of extra stock.
Nationwide, Sears offers appliances through more than 1,700 locations, including: approximately 870 full-line stores; 790 Sears Dealer stores; 60 Sears Appliance and Hardware stores; 45 Sears Outlet stores; 13 builder direct showrooms; 18 The Great Indoors stores; its Sears Grand location and on sears.com. The latest Appliance and Hardware outlets, located throughout the U.S. represent a significant growth strategy following successful tests in selected markets in 2003.
"The Sears Appliance and Hardware pilot stores exceeded our expectations and we are very pleased to convert another 35 stores to carry appliances," Mr. Buley added. "This is a continuation of the significant changes Sears is making to maintain and grow our appliance business and better serve our customers. The addition of appliances to our hardware stores is helping Sears generate more appliance market share per store than our competitors."
Only Sears sells the top six appliance brands: Amana, Frigidaire, GE, Maytag, Whirlpool, and Kenmore.
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