By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL. — Sears is adding new frontand top-load laundry pairs to its super-premium Kenmore Elite stable.
For the front-load camp comes Kenmore Elite Steam- Care washers in 5- and 5.1-cubic-foot capacities. Available in two control panel styles — Smooth Touch for the smaller model and LCD for the larger — the washers feature a Time Manager option that allows consumers to customize the cycle to the laundry load in order to reduce wash time.
Offered in new Lemongrass and Blackberry fashion colors, the units also feature a SteamCare”function that provides six steam cycles to reduce wrinkles and help loosen tough stains, while the door-swing direction can be adjusted on both the washers and companion 8-cubicfoot dryers to accommodate laundry room configurations.
The dryers also have an Express Dry function that shortens dry time and a WrinkleGuard function that intermittently tumbles the load to prevent wrinkles.
Price points for both the washers and dryers range from a low of $1,400 for the Smooth Touch model in white to $1,900 for the LCDequipped unit in Blackberry or Lemongrass. The line is set to hit Sears stores in February.
On the top-load front, Sears has incorporated many of the features that had previously differentiated front-load configurations, including extra-large capacity and greater energy efficiency.
Two new models, one with an LCD interface and the other with a traditional control panel and available in 5- and 5.2-cubic-foot capacities, offer customizable cycles, Smart Motion technology that cleans fabrics with six unique drum motions, and the previously reported Kenmore Connect diagnostic system that allows service technicians to diagnose problems over the phone via data-carrying signals.
The washers feature a glass lid, a non-agitator drum that’s gentler on fabrics, and a 10-year warranty on their direct-drive motors.
Like their top-load counterparts, the companion 7.3-cubic-foot front-load dryers feature SteamCare technology to relax wrinkles and reduce odors, and a fullcolor LCD interface with onboard stain and fabric guides and nine customizable cycle options.
Retail pricing ranges from $800 for the 5-cubic- foot traditional-control washer in white, to $1,500 for the larger-capacity LCD model in a fashion-color finish. Dryer price points range from $1,000 for the basic control panel to $1,500 for the LCD option. Shipping will begin during the February to March time period.
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