Part of a series of private-label brand extensions
Kenmore has left the kitchen.
Sears’ venerable appliance badge is now appearing on a two-line series of aggressively priced HD and 4K Ultra HD LED TVs as part of an effort to squeeze further mileage from the company’s Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard house brands.
Following the nomenclature of its private-label majaps, the HD sets carry the Kenmore name while the step-up 4K/UHD models are labeled Kenmore Elite.
The latter feature a 120Hz refresh rate; Dolby Digital sound to enhance audio from direct-connected computers, tablets and other devices; “dynamic back light” for high contrast and vivid colors; and three HDMI 2.0 ports and one USB input.
Missing from the feature set is streaming capability, an ironic omission given Sears’ focus on the connected home.
The 4K sets, which were quietly rolled out online in May and in stores in June, are available in 50-, 55- and 65-inch screen sizes at a retail step of $750, $900 and $1,500, respectively.
The HDTVs, also introduced in May, are available in 32-, 40- and 50-inch screen sizes for $200, $300 and $400.
Sears has traditionally remained mum on its majap OEMs and it is similarly unclear who is providing the LED models.
The new TV line, which follows June word of a DieHard-branded automobile tire, is part of a series of multi-product brand extensions that also includes:
• a Kenmore smart thermostat;
• a Kenmore Elite French door refrigerator and frontload laundry pair with Wi-Fi connectivity for alerts and downloadable wash cycles;
• a Craftsman garage door opener and connected tool storage units; and
• a DieHard-branded Bluetooth speaker, earbuds set, pocket smartphone charger and wireless charging stand.
“The addition of Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard connected products further improves our connected solutions offering,” said Ryan Ciovacco, president of consumer electronics and connected living at Sears Holdings.
The plan also calls for “integrating some of these products with our Sears Home Services business” to create a “one-stop shop for trusted connected home brands,” Ciovacco said.
Tom Park, former Belkin/Linksys VP and current president of Sears’ private-label triumvirate, elaborated on the brand-extension strategy.
“The Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands are trusted American legacy brands that are woven into the fabric of our American home lifestyle,” he said. “We’re there when you grab your lunch from your Kenmore refrigerator and use your Craftsman garage door opener as you leave home. A DieHard battery powers your car and now you can ride on DieHard tires on your drive to work. You can adjust the temperature of your home from your office with a Kenmore thermostat, before returning home to watch your Kenmore TV.
“We’re unleashing the power of these iconic brands by entering into these new categories and introducing connected home solutions that provide peace of mind, saving time, energy and money.”
Between its brand portfolio, assisted sales floor, national retail footprint and in-home services arm, Sears is perhaps best positioned to bring the connected home to the masses. But given its mounting losses, store closures, and steep share declines in core categories, it’s a race against the clock.