Sears will no longer sell Whirlpool appliances, ending 100-year relationship

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

For more than a century, people could walk into a Sears store and buy a Whirlpool appliance. Soon, that will no longer be the case.

The brick-and-mortar store announced this week that the company will stop carrying Whirlpool and Maytag home appliances, including washers, dryers, and diswashers, in its stores. The companies have been partners for about a century, but once Sears runs out of its current stock of Whirlpool merchandise, the two will end their relationship. The parties reportedly couldn’t agree on a pricing deal that worked for both of them, leading to the fallout, USA Today reported.

Whirlpool — which recently announced plans to add Alexa and Google Home functionalities to some of its appliances — said the company had no choice but to raise the prices of its produces due to an increase in the price of the materials necessary to manufacture them. The company also owns KitchenAid and Jenn-Air products.

Sears broke the news via a memo to its stores that said the price increases “would have prohibited us from offering Whirlpool products to our members at a reasonable price.” Whirlpool informed the retailer of its decision in May.

About 3 percent of Whirlpool products are sold via Sears, which is now seeking to ship its Whirlpool products to other vendors. Thechain will still sell its own Kenmore appliances, and “will continue to make available top brands that members expect from us, including LG, Samsung, GE, Frigidaire, Electrolux, and Bosch,” according to a memo.

Sears has been on a long financial decline as a major retailer amid competition from other brick-and-mortar stores, as well as online outlets. The company recently announced the start of a restructuring program that will shed $1 billion in annual costs, while also reducing debt by $1.5 billion. The company is doing so by selling brands such as Craftsman. The company has announced layoffs and store closures — about 300 Sears and Kmart locations will shutter their doors as part of the restructuring initiative, leaving it with about 1,200 stores. The company s in March that it has “substantial doubt” regarding whether or not it can stay in business unless it borrows more and cuts costs, according to USA Today.

Product Review

You don't need Alexa in your microwave, but you'd be surprised what she can do

Amazon has added to its long portfolio of products with the AmazonBasics Microwave, a small appliance that works with Alexa. We took the microwave for a test drive to find out more.

Ford teams up with Walmart to study consumer response to autonomous delivery

Last week it was Ford and VW, and this week Ford and Walmart are signaling a desire to work together on autonomous vehicles solutions. Ford and the giant retailer will study consumer reactions to self-driving delivery vehicles.
Product Review

Tovala cooks delicious, idiotproof meals healthier than takeout. For a price

The Tovala Steam Oven is a countertop appliance that can serve up dinner in about 20 minutes with zero prep. The drawback is that the ready-to-heat meals, while tasty, are $12 each.

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Smart Home

Amazon has a huge team dedicated to enhancing Alexa and Echo

An Amazon executive on Tuesday, November 13 revealed the huge size of the team that's tasked with developing the Echo, the company's smart speaker, and Alexa, the digital assistant that powers it.
Smart Home

Ecobee announces Black Friday deals on smart thermostats and smart switches

Ecobee's 2018 Black Friday deals are live. Ecobee's smart thermostats and smart wall switch are compatible with smart home voice assistant systems including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings.

Here are the best Amazon Echo and Google Home deals for Black Friday

Google Home and Amazon Echo smart speakers compete head to head when it comes to smart home tech. Whether you're a fan of Alexa or Google Home, we've found the best prices on your favorite smart home devices.
Smart Home

Wynd’s new air-purifying bundle lets smart home owners breathe easier

Wynd is already well known in the tech industry for its popular Kickstarter-backed air purifier and now the company is launching two new products designed to improve air quality to inform smart home owners.
Smart Home

Google Assistant adds smart home bells and whistles in time for the holidays

Just in time for the holidays, Google Assistant is introducing a bunch of new smart home features, including the ability to reply to broadcast messages, create and use cookbooks, and access enhanced storybook content for kids.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Emerging Tech

These Alexa-stuffed retro phones don’t listen until you take them off the hook

Looking for an Amazon Echo with a cool vintage touch? Los Angeles-based Grain Design is taking old, non-working antique phones and transforming them into amazing Alexa smart speakers.
Smart Home

This alarm clock uses targeted light and sound to wake you, but not your partner

The Wake v2 isn't like your typical bedside alarm. Instead, it wakes you by shining a soft light directly into your face, thereby not disturbing the person sharing a bed with you. Pretty smart, huh?

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…

Xfinity indoor/outdoor camera zooms in on Grinch’s faces and license plates

Comcast's Xfinity Home security cameras can help the police catch Grinches who steal delivery packages from your home. The cameras use artificial intelligence to analyze moving objects and zoom in on faces at your door and license plates.