Sears will no longer sell Whirlpool appliances, ending a business relationship that dates back more than 100 years, the AP reports. In a note sent to its stores last week, Sears said that Whirlpool was making demands that would've made it difficult to sell its appliances at a competitive price. The relationship reaches back to 1916, when Whirlpool began making two types of wringer washers for Sears, Roebuck and Co., according to Whirlpool's website. At that time, Sears operated exclusively through mail order.
The end of the Sears-Whirlpool partnership is effective immediately and Sears is also pulling from its floor products from Whirlpool subsidiaries like Maytag, KitchenAid, and Jenn-Air. Sears said that it would sell off the remainder of its Whirlpool inventory. Its stores will now only sell its Kenmore products and other brands like LG, Samsung, GE, Frigidaire, Electrolux, and Bosch. Sears has been ravaged by new competition for years, from stores like Home Depot and also from Amazon.com and other online retailers. It's been closing stores as competitors take a bigger slice of the territory it dominated for decades. In the US, consumers buy most of their small appliances, from Walmart, according to market research. Amazon comes in second, with Sears placing fourth behind Target. Shares of Whirlpool Corp. tumbled more than 9% before the market opened on Tuesday.
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