Sears and Amazon; Alexa, turn up my Kenmore air conditioner

A Sears store in Glen Allen

The company said Thursday that it's struck a deal to sell its Kenmore appliance line on Amazon.

Sears, which also owns Kmart, said that its Kenmore Smart appliances will be fully integrated with Amazon's Alexa, allowing users to control things like air conditioners through voice commands. For the first time, Sears is selling its line of Kenmore products on Amazon.

"We continuously look for opportunities to enhance the reach of our iconic brands to more customers and create additional value from our assets", said Edward S. Lampert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sears Holdings. Sears also said that it will integrate its Kenmore Smart appliance with Amazon Alexa, the voice-controlled digital assistant that powers a wide range of devices.

But some seemed unconvinced that the deal could do much to reverse Sears' misfortunes.

For now, the appliances will only be sold to U.S. Amazon customers, but Park said Sears may consider global sales in the future. Lampert's continued cash injections and ownership of the chain's unsecured debt continues to convince some investors that Sears will avoid filing for bankruptcy protection, but ultimately the ability to appeal to a wider consumer base on Amazon may be the company's best long-term move yet. From there, the company plans to expand to the rest of the country, and hopes to eventually offer two-day delivery for Amazon Prime customers.

The announcement before the opening bell Thursday sent shares of Sears soaring more than 19 percent in morning trade.

"This marks the broadest distribution of Kenmore, America's most trusted home appliance brand, outside of Sears branded stores and related online retail platforms", Sears said in its news release. The S&P 500 index is up almost 14% for the a year ago. The company's stock has lost almost 95 percent of its value in the past decade, from a peak of $195.18 a share in 2007.

Shares of Sears' stock were climbing more than 8 percent in early trading following this news.

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