Sears is adding Alexa support to its Kenmore smart home appliances

Kenmore breaks free of brick and mortar with Amazon deal

In addition to the marketing deal, Sears also said that its Kenmore Smart room air conditioners are integrated with Amazon's Alexa app and are available now on Amazon. Sears CEO Eddie Lampert was equally hopeful about the move, stating that it would "will significantly expand the distribution and availability of the Kenmore brand in the U.S." in a statement this morning. "We're excited that Kenmore has added Alexa functionality to these products and we think customers will love the convenience of cooling their home, starting their laundry, and more, using only their voice".

Amazon will also begin selling Sears' Kenmore products directly, which is a significant bit of good news (and a new sales channel) for the struggling department store chain.

But in the USA, most Kenmore products, including major appliances, were only sold through Sears.

It's an interesting reversal of fortune for Sears, whose sales have been in the hole for years - mainly due to competition from e-commerce sites such as Amazon.

Sears, which flagged doubts earlier this year about its ability to remain in business, said this month it would shut 43 stores, in addition to the 150 it announced in January.

Sears Holdings shares rose 17% on the news.

On Thursday afternoon, shares of Sears were up about 10 percent to $9.60. 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 partnership illustrates a recent trend of traditional retailers that have long fought Amazon deciding to embrace their rival, CFRA Research equity analyst Tuna Amobi said.

In February, Sears inked a deal to allow California-based Permasteel to manufacture Kenmore grills for distribution at retailers nationwide, and Ace Hardware sells Kenmore water heaters and softeners.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. The S&P 500 index is up almost 14% for the a year ago.

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