Kenmore Smart appliances add Alexa support in Sears Amazon deal

Kenmore Smart appliances add Alexa support in Sears Amazon deal

GE and Whirlpool have already integrated similar support across their respective products, and now "the full line of Kenmore smart appliances" - air conditioners, refrigerators, and more - can be controlled with a new Alexa skill, Kenmore Smart.

The Kenmore Smart air conditioners with Alexa range in price from $379.99 to $739.99. Once the Kenmore Smart skill for Alexa has been installed - which can be done by voice command through the smart speaker itself - owners will be able to ask Amazon's virtual assistant to remotely control the various devices. The deal marks the broadest distribution of Kenmore products, outside of Sears branded stores and related online retail platforms. The Kenmore Smart air conditioner is now available. Distribution will be nationwide, and Kenmore, Sears Home Services and Innovel Solutions will provide delivery, installation, and other services.

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Shares of Sears Holdings, based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, jumped more than $1, nearing $10 per share, in premarket trading. "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". In fact, Kenmore itself says it was in almost one in three American homes in the early 2000s. In its last quarter, Sears notched its first profit since 2015, reporting net income of $244 million on revenue of $4.3 billion, compared with a loss of $471 million on sales of $5.4 billion in the year-ago quarter. In 1969, former U.S. president Harry Truman purchased a Kenmore washing machine, the brand said.

"Working with Amazon is perfectly aligned with our omni-channel strategy to unleash the power and service of Kenmore and support the brand's growth", said Tom Park, President of Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands at Sears Holdings.

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