Sears Holdings has introduced the first wave of what will be a wider assortment of connected-home products marketed under its private-label Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands.
The effort, orchestrated by Tom Park, president of the brand trio, leverages the badges’ heritage and dependability, and further positions the retail chain for a connected-home future, he told TWICE.
The first five products include:
*an 8,000 Btu Kenmore Elite smart AC ($300 retail);
*a Kenmore smart water heater module, compatible with current Kenmore and Kenmore Elite electric water heaters ($70 retail);
*a Kenmore Elite smart hybrid water softener ($800 retail);
*a pair of Craftsman wireless-enabled zero-turn steerable riding mowers ($2,799 and $3,199 retail); and
*a DieHard smart battery charger and maintainer ($100 retail).
DieHard smart charger and maintainer
Each of the items is Wi-Fi-enabled, allowing owners to change temperature settings, monitor product status and receive alerts via their mobile devices. The water heater module, for example, allows vacationing users to lower and raise the water temperature and can notify them of a tank leak.
Besides their smart capabilities, all Sears’ private-label connected products share the same value proposition, in that they’re affordable, convenient, save consumers money and provide peace of mind, said Park, a former top Disney exec who came to Sears last summer after a decade at Belkin.
Kenmore Elite 8,000 Btu smart room air conditioner
The latest initiative is part of an overarching smart-solutions strategy linking Sears' CE, appliance, automotive, lawn and garden, and home services businesses.The retailer has already established a smart-home beachhead on the electronics side, where connected solutions and CE president Ryan Ciovacco has helped develop an IoT orientation that includes a dedicated website, an in-store showroom and some 200 smaller store-in-store shops.
The initial private-label products are either in stores now or arriving shortly, and additional smart devices will be launched throughout the balance of the year, Sears said.