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Lowe’s To Carry Samsung Majaps

Lowe’s, the No. 2 white-goods dealer, will begin stocking Samsung-branded major appliances in September.

The pact will begin with refrigerators in the fall, and will expand to laundry and other categories in 2006.

“Samsung is recognized worldwide for its superior electronics and product innovation,” said John Kasberger, Lowe’s’ senior VP and hardlines general merchandising manager. “The addition of Samsung digital products to our appliance portfolio is one more way Lowe’s is offering the latest in technologically advanced, energy-efficient home appliances to our customers.”

Added Peter Weedfald, senior VP/sales and marketing, consumer electronics and North American corporate marketing, for Samsung Electronics America, “Lowe’s’ expertise and network of stores across the country will allow our digital brand to continue to expand and will complement our business as we build on our success in the home appliance marketplace.”

The move into all 1,100-plus Lowe’s stores follows this month’s rollout of LG major appliances into The Home Depot. LG, a fellow Korean brown- and white-goods vendor and Samsung archrival, is providing a 17-piece assortment of LG-branded laundry pairs, refrigerators, dishwashers, air conditioners and microwave ovens to the No. 1 home improvement chain and third-largest major appliance retailer.

LG and Samsung appliances compete directly at Best Buy, the first national chain to carry either brand.

Samsung will provide derivative models for Lowe’s, beginning with its side-by-side, bottom-mount and new four-door refrigerators, which range in price from $1,000 to $3,000 at retail. Lowe’s also carries the premium Bosch and Fisher & Paykel lines, in addition to the core GE, Frigidaire/Electrolux, Maytag and Whirlpool brand families.

Like Home Depot’s addition of LG, Lowe’s’ Samsung deal will allow it to further diversify its white-goods offering and better differentiate itself from its home improvement competitor, which also carries Maytag and GE.

The alignment could also be seen as a setback for fourth-place white-goods retailer Best Buy, which deployed LG and Samsung appliances to help resuscitate its flagging majap business.