Why is Bloomingdale’s selling major appliances?
In a partnership with LG Electronics, Bloomingdale’s plans to sell major appliances and TVs for the first time.
The department store retailer will open an LG store-within-a-store concept at its 59th Street flagship store today and an LG section on bloomingdales.com. Bloomingdale’s may add appliances to other stores if the LG holiday test proves successful.
In a statement, LG said the Bloomingdale’s alliance will support the selling of its LG Signature premium collection that is as much about how the design fits a consumer’s lifestyle as it is about functionality. The line includes a $7,000 TV, a $3,200 washer/dryer as well as a refrigerator, dishwasher, air purifier and oven range.
Bloomingdale’s, owned by Macy’s, Inc., sees the LG shop complementing existing housewares offerings.
“We continually seek ways to improve the lives of our customers through our product offering,” said Dan Leppo, Bloomingdale’s EVP and GMM of men’s and home. “The addition of LG Signature products alongside our robust home assortment allows our customers to explore how these items could work in their homes and enhance their lifestyle.”
Sears, once the dominant appliance retailer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March and is closing about 100 doors before the end of the year. In 2016, J.C. Penney re-entered the major appliance category after a 33-year hiatus, not only to fill a void left by Sears’ stores closings, but to attract first-time Millennial homebuyers and lessen exposure in apparel.
The overall appliance category is said to be expanding with innovation being driven by advances in the IoT (internet of things) technology.
Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, sees no issues for Bloomingdale’s including major appliances in its mix.
“Other luxury departments stores like Harrods and Selfridges have successfully sold electronics for a long time, and it is an integral part of their offer,” said Mr. Saunders. “Moreover, Bloomingdale’s shoppers already buy electronics, so it makes sense for the retailer to try and get a slice of this spend.”
Bloomingdale’s will face competition from Home Depot, Lowe’s, Costco and Amazon, as well. Retail Dive said appliance boutiques such as Pirch, which carry more upscale European brands than Bloomingdale’s, may be better suited to work with the interior designers that support the high-end appliance decision for homeowners.
- LG Electronics USA Partners with Bloomingdale’s to Offer High-End Appliances and TVs in Store and Online – LG Electronics
- Coming soon to Bloomingdale’s: LG TVs, washing machines and refrigerators – USA Today
- Bloomingdale’s to start selling high-end appliances ahead of the holidays as Sears struggles – CNBC
- Bloomingdale’s to sell major appliances – Retail Dive
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Bloomingdale’s find success with its test of the LG Signature store-within-a-store concept? Which retailers will ultimately do best in selling appliances, as the category evolves?