14411 Tue, 05/06/2008 - 12:10pm
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.–Sears would consider selling its exclusive Kenmore Appliances at retailers such as Home Depot or Lowe’s if it would “help performance of the brand in Sears stores,” said Edward Lampert, chairman and chief executive officer of Sears Holdings at the retailer’s annual meeting here yesterday.
“Keeping things bottled up sometimes keeps them inhibited,” Lampert said, adding that it’s premature to speculate further. Also, the retailer is in search of an executive to run its Kenmore and Craftsman businesses.
While declining to disclose details of the home category’s sales performance, Lampert said Sears’ home business reflects the “difficult environment for home furnishings across the retail landscape.”
Sears Holdings has an exclusive licensing arrangement for the Cannon textiles brand, but Lampert said it’s unclear when that brand will be launched and if it will be sold at Sears, Kmart or both chains.
Lampert said Kmart will look for opportunities to fill the void created by the loss of the Martha Stewart Everyday Collection in 2010. The retailer had planned to expand the line to Sears, but “it takes two to tango,” Lampert said. “She felt differently.”
Sears executives blamed the company’s poor performance overall on the tough economy and high inventory, which resulted in high markdowns, but Lampert conceded that “We haven’t been able to develop the big ideas to put a lot of capital behind,” he said.