Some of the tech industry’s leading merchants gathered earlier this year for TWICE’s annual Retail Executive Roundtable at CES 2018. The following is one excerpt from the larger conversation, which we’re serializing this week online.
TWICE: How is the rollout of Kenmore appliances on Amazon proceeding? Are you national yet?
Peter Boutros, Sears Holdings: We’re in Southern California and Chicago, and we are now preparing for the first quarter to be national on Amazon. [Editor’s note: The program has since gone nationwide.] It’s the first time that Kenmore has been sold outside of Sears after 100 years. We’re very proud of that relationship.
Matt Furlong, Amazon: We’re excited to get into the major appliance business in a big way with Kenmore. We’re encouraged by the early results, and we’re excited to get the product available to more customers.
Boutros: And our major appliances are all Alexa enabled.
TWICE: Does Amazon own the inventory?
Furlong: I won’t get into the details of the business relationship, but I will say that we feel good about the relationship that we have and how we’re operating. I will also give kudos to the team that Peter works with. They’re doing a great job with the installation and delivery to customers and we feel really good about that.
TWICE: Are those Sears-owned services?
Boutros: Sears has three capabilities that we partnered with Amazon: the Kenmore brand and the portfolio of products; home delivery, installation and haul-away; and Sears home services. We were able to satisfy Amazon’s high service levels on all three.
TWICE: Matt, might you leverage those capabilities for other categories, like TV perhaps?
Furlong: At Amazon, we always start with the customer and work backwards. We’re going to look for the best partners that can do the best job working with us to deliver for customers. I would say that right now we feel good about the job that Peter’s team is doing on the delivery and installation side for appliances.
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