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Sears Names Moore Appliance Pres.; Expands Kmart Majap Biz

4/07/2008 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Sears Holdings has tapped former Circuit City executive Douglas Moore to run its major appliance business.

Moore, a former chief merchant at Circuit City who joined Sears last June, was promoted from hardlines merchandising senior VP to corporate senior VP and appliances president.

The appointment, along with the hiring of former Circuit City COO John Froman as president of Sears' tools and lawn-and-garden businesses, is part of the retailer's previously announced strategic reorganization into core product and support groups.

Moore spent 17 years with Circuit City, including a 1998 stint as general manager of the retailer's builder appliances sales division. He left last year as executive VP/chief merchandising officer.

Reporting to Moore is home appliance VP/general merchandise manager Steve Light, who succeeded Sears' longtime majap chief Tina Settecase last month.

Separately, Sears said it will continue to add major appliances to more of its Kmart locations, and plans to expand its chain of independently owned dealer stores.

According to the company's annual 10-K report, filed last month with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Sears remodeled about 30 Kmart stores last year to accommodate Kenmore majaps and other Sears private-label products. By Feb. 2, 2008, about 280 of Kmart's 1,382 locations carried a multibrand assortment of white goods, up from about 100 stores that were selling majaps three years ago.

"We intend to continue our rollout of home appliances, including Sears Kenmore-brand products, into Kmart locations over the next several years as a means of expanding our points of distribution in response to competitor store growth," the company said in the filing.

Sears also said it plans to continue expanding its dealer store program this year. The stores are primarily independently owned, average about 8,800 square feet in size, and carry a select assortment of CE, appliances, lawn and garden equipment, hardware and automotive batteries. Dealer stores are traditionally located in small, rural communities, but Sears has also begun targeting urban neighborhoods across the country. Forty locations were added last year, bringing the total dealer store count to 857.

In other news, Sears has added Samsung side-by-side refrigerators to its major appliance assortment.

The line, available now at Sears stores nationwide and online at Sears.com, extends Samsung's real estate at the nation's leading white-goods retailer, which introduced the vendor's front-loading washers and dryers in November.

The Twin Cooling side-by-side refrigerators provide 26 cubic feet of storage space and innovative design features specifically engineered to keep food as fresh as possible. Those include independently cooled refrigerator and freezer compartments, which maintains optimal humidity levels so food is preserved longer and odor transfer is eliminated. Aesthetically, blue LED lights, hidden hinges, and finishes in platinum and true stainless lend the refrigerators a sleek, contemporary look, the partners said.

Sears is selling the units, which are also available in white and black, for $1,235 to $1,520, depending on finish.

"Consumers trust Sears for the products, brands, financing, delivery, service and shopping experience to help them re-invent their kitchens," said Light. "Because Samsung is known for its industry-leading design and problem-solving features, we are pleased to now offer these innovative products at Sears."

"The addition of Sears to Samsung's expanding family of U.S. retailers marks the further availability of Samsung's high-quality and sleekly designed home appliance products to consumers looking for the perfect combination of form and function in their home," added James Politeski, home appliance sales and marketing VP for Samsung Electronics. "We are pleased to add the nation's leading retailer of home appliances to our existing foundation of strong retail partners. We hope to expand on our current offerings in the near future with the addition of Samsung's entire line of home appliances including ranges and dishwashers in order to provide Sears customers quality appliances that they will truly be proud to buy."