By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Wal-Mart has further extended its white goods relationship with GE.
The world's largest retailer (and, for that matter, largest company), has begun to offer a full spate of GE major appliances over the Web site of its Sam's Club warehouse club division.
Effective this month, Sam's Club customers can purchase more than 130 GE models online, including washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, electric and gas ranges, over-the-range microwave ovens and trash compactors, in a host of colors and configurations.
In a continuation of its fulfillment arrangement with The Home Depot, and, to a lesser extent, select Wal-Mart discount stores, GE will direct ship and install appliances purchased from the Sam's Club site for a $25 delivery fee. There are additional fees for removing old appliances and installing dishwashers.
The e-commerce move comes two years after Wal-Mart announced a pilot program to sell GE majaps in the chain's discount stores. Plans called for as many as 100 locations to carry 15 models within a 900 square-foot department, and to offer an additional 45 SKUs via in-store kiosks, with GE assuming all inventory and fulfillment functions.
Neither Wal-Mart nor GE would comment on the status of that program. However, majap dealers and industry analysts report that the test has essentially been terminated due to disappointing results, although some Wal-Mart stores continue to carry the appliance assortment.
By contrast, the assortment at the Sam's Club Web site, www.samsclub.com, is more extensive, with 26 refrigerators (including side-by-sides and top and bottom mounts), 11 freezers, 23 gas and 23 electric ranges, 12 dishwashers, 9 washers, 16 gas and electric dryers, 14 microwave ovens and 4 compactors.
Models and retails include:
GE 25.4-cubic-foot ice and water side by side, in black, for $1,219.96
GE Profile Performance 3.2-cubic-foot Wizard washer, for $699.94
GE Triton built-in dishwasher, in stainless, for $449.94
GE Spectra 30-inch CleanDesign electric range, in black/white, for $549.98
The site also provides for the ready purchase of additional accessories and one- or three-year extended warranties.
In line with Sam's Club's return to its original focus on small businesses rather than consumers, the company noted that its online appliance showroom "is an ideal destination for contractors, property management agencies or rental property owners seeking large or small orders to furnish new facilities or replace outdated models."
With its newly expanded cyber assortment, Sam's Club joins a limited field of white goods e-tailers. Sears.com leads the field with an estimated $5 million in annual sales, while the Associated Volume Buyers/Brand Source buying consortium lays claim to second place with $3 million in online majaps sales.
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.