Sears' Kenmore Appointment Points To Connected-Home Plans - Twice

Sears' Kenmore Appointment Points To Connected-Home Plans

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Sears Holdings has named Tom Park president of its Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands business unit.

But his background, as former VP/general manager of Belkin’s Linksys division, suggests a connected- home future for the retailer’s flagship badges.

In a statement, Sears chairman/CEO Eddie Lampert underscored Park’s previous experience at Disney, where he variously served as finance director for the theme park, resort and real estate unit; VP/controller of the consumer products group; and president of its retail store division.

“Tom is a veteran in the consumer and business-to-business technology space,” Lampert said. “His experience at Disney, one of the country’s most treasured brands, in addition to his over 30 years of experience in sales, operations, sourcing and logistics, product management and finance, positions him well to serve as the steward of our brands as we continue to transform our company.”

But a cornerstone of that transformation, along with an emphasis on digital commerce, is a connected- home and services strategy, led in part by connected solutions and CE president Ryan Ciovacco.

It is unclear if Park’s mandate will continue to include an early Lampert effort to license the company’s private-label brands. Kenmore remains the nation’s No. 3 majap badge, according to TWICE market research partner The Stevenson Company, but continues to sustain market share declines along with Sears’ overall appliance business.

Park’s appointment comes amid a flurry of executive change at the retailer. He succeeds Michael Castleman, who left Sears last October, and will ostensibly work in tandem with Lynn Pendergrass, a former Johnson & Johnson and Hewlett-Packard senior exec who was named hardlines president in August.

Sears said she is “responsible for working across the Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard business unit and its hardlines partners.”

The retailer has also named former chief information officer Jeff Balagna president of Sears’ strategic home services unit, succeeding Arun Arora who left earlier this summer.

Former Amazon.com CE director James Coyle, whose white-goods purview overlaps with Balagna’s, continues to run Sears’ majap business as president of home appliances and commercial sales.

In related news, Sears Holdings spin-off Hometown and Outlet stores has named former Sears, Macy’s and Pep Boys exec Mike McCarthy was named merchandising and inventory VP.

In his new role, McCarthy — the first major appointment of recently named CEO Will Powell — will be the point man for product selection and assortment planning strategy; inventory management and productivity; product and visual merchandising; product marketing and awareness strategies; promotional design; and vendor relationships and support.

McCarthy should be up to the task: he spent 29 years at Sears, including a stint as senior VP with responsibility for the Hometown, Outlet and other Sears’ specialty chains, and left in 2011 as senior VP/general manager of the company’s eponymous flagship stores.

The Sears Holdings spinoff operates 1,215 stores in all 50 states. It is the fifth-largest majap retailer in the land, generating $1.6 billion in white-goods revenue last year, according to TWICE’s Top 50 Major Appliance Retailers Report.

The chain reported a 55 percent decline in net income, to $1.5 million, and a 3 percent slip in net sales, to $619.6 million, for its second fiscal quarter ended Aug. 1, which it attributed to a slew of circumstances including store closings, inventory constraints and a cap on new franchised locations.

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