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Maytag will begin pulling its Amana brand out of Lowe's by the end of the second quarter as part of a new channel distribution strategy.
Under the plan, outlined during Nationwide's meeting and convention here earlier this month, Amana will be kept primarily within the independent channel if it receives sufficient dealer support. Its exit from the home improvement chain will begin with laundry in the second quarter, extend to cooking in the third quarter, and will end with refrigeration in the first quarter of 2004.
Amana, which exited Best Buy last year, is described by Maytag as a higher-margin "push brand" that is best supported by full-service retailers.
In exchange, Maytag will provide its Maytag Performa sub-brand to Lowe's exclusively. The line, which is presently carried by Lowe's, Best Buy and independents, has fewer features and a shorter warranty than the flagship brand.
Maytag cited several moves by its current management to "rebuild bridges" with independent dealers, including exiting Sam's Club, increasing its field sales force and offering the first Nationwide-specific derivatives, including a step-up Neptune washer.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.