Will Penney’s appliance test put a fork in Sears?
Coming from Home Depot, J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison knows something about selling major kitchen and laundry appliances in stores. So, beginning on Feb. 1, some 30 years after the department store chain stopped selling appliances, Penney is testing the sale of the products in 22 stores in San Antonio, San Diego and Tampa.
“This is an opportunity to increase sales productivity and give shoppers what they are looking for,” Mr. Ellison told The Wall Street Journal.
If the test proves successful and Penney expands the sales of major appliances across the chain as planned by its CEO, the company will face sharp competition, most notably from Sears Holdings.
Penney’s department store rival is the largest seller of appliances in the U.S., according to TraQline, a market share survey. TWICE puts Sears Holdings at number two, in part, as a result of its spinoff of Sears Hometown in 2012. Lowe’s is number one on the TWICE list, while Home Depot, Best Buy and Sears Hometown round out the top five.
“We’re not getting into this to compete with the home improvement chains,” Mr. Ellison said (via The Dallas Morning News). “We’re a mall retailer, and we’re going to compete in the mall.”
According to reports, each test store will stock 90 to 150 appliances in a dedicated showroom. Among the brands sold will be GE, Hotpoint, LG and Samsung. In the case of GE, the manufacturer will own the inventory in Penney stores and ship sold appliances directly to customers.
- Majap Sales Up 5% For Industry’s 50 Largest Dealers – TWICE (tiered sub.)
- J.C. Penney testing the sale of major appliances in 22 stores – The Dallas Morning News
- J.C. Penney to Sell Appliances Again – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
Do you expect J.C. Penney to become a significant player in major home appliances in the years ahead as a result of Marvin Ellison’s leadership? What will Penney’s entry into the appliance category mean for Sears Holdings?