Sears Holdings has taken another step toward monetizing its portfolio of famed house brands.
The retailer has forged a deal with Permasteel, a Pomona, Calif.-based maker of competitively priced grills, decorative ice chests and outdoor patio heaters, to manufacture and sell a line of Kenmore and Kenmore Elite branded gas grills to other U.S. retailers.
Sears said the agreement represents “the first step” toward licensing the venerable Kenmore appliance brand both domestically and abroad.
The deal follows last month’s announced sale of its Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker for an estimated $900 million in cash and royalties, and comes nearly one year after Sears said it would “explore alternatives” for expanded distribution of its Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard triumvirate.
“The Kenmore brand is one of the most awarded and trusted American legacy brands and is woven into the fabric of our home lifestyle,” said Peter Boutros, chief marketing officer and head of international for Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands. “This licensing agreement with Permasteel, Inc. is the first example of our expansion strategy to unleash the power of the Kenmore and DieHard brands globally.”
Boutros said the licensing focus for Kenmore is on grills, small kitchen appliances, cookware, water heaters, water softeners and “brand-relevant adjacent products,” rather than core major appliances like refrigerators and laundry pairs.
Permasteel president Hazel Hu added that the licensing agreement represents “a significant step toward making Kenmore and Kenmore Elite grills more accessible through retailers nationwide.”
Privately-held Permasteel currently produces Kenmore and Kenmore Elite grills for Sears and sells replacement parts to consumers directly through its