San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
The largest launch in Frigidaire brand history continues its weeks-long rollout to national and independent dealers this month.
The undertaking, which was years in the making, includes a sweeping overhaul of the brand's midtier Gallery line and step-up Professional platform, as well as a new marketing push featuring celebrity spokeswoman Jennifer Garner, a charitable cause (Save the Children) and an updated logo.
Sears will become the sole national retailer of Jenn-Air appliances after the new year, supplanting existing distribution deals between the super-premium Whirlpool brand and Lowe’s and The Home Depot.
Sears, the nation’s No. 1 appliance retailer, said it will introduce 17 Jenn-Air refrigerators, dishwashers and cooking products by mid-month at 255 of its largest stores. Jenn-Air will continue to be available to independent dealers and regional chains.
A pre-summer heat wave that baked much of the country in June helped jump-start the stalled room air conditioner market.
Prior to the June pick-up, dealers and manufacturers were sitting on excess inventory that was carried over from last year's unseasonably cool summer.
As expected, Frigidaire Home Products has expanded the "true white" ceramic-top material first introduced in its Frigidaire Gallery line at last April's Kitchen/ Bath Industry Show (TWICE, April 26, p. 88) into its traditional Frigidaire-brand cooktops.
In addition, the company has two new dual-fuel slide-in ranges. Model FCS367CH, with gas surface burners and electric self-cleaning oven, also has electronic controls and includes both a power burner and a simmer burner. It comes in white or black.
Manufacturers and dealers were hopeful that last week's first nationwide heat wave of the summer would kick-start sales of room air conditioners after weeks of relatively cool climes.
But consumers who sought relief from the heat by purchasing first-time or replacement models were faced with a perennial decision: visit a mass merchant to grab an inexpensive import and go, or make a longer-term investment in a premium appliance that's sold on an assisted sales floor.
H.H. Gregg is exiting the repair business.
In an effort to focus on its core retail competencies, the regional majap and CE powerhouse is outsourcing its product service and repair operations to national and regional product service providers, including GE, the chain reported.