From the day it opened in 1887, Sears has sold washers, dryers and other appliances from Whirlpool. This week, that came to an end.
The struggling retailer has cut its ties with the company, which also makes products under the KitchenAid and Jenn-Air names. Remaining inventory will be sold, but no new orders are being planned. Sears will instead focus its sales efforts on its own Kenmore appliances, as well as Whirlpool (WHR) competitors, including GE, Samsung and Frigidaire.
Sears, in a memo sent to stores, says Whirlpool insisted on pricing “that would have prohibited us from offering Whirlpool products to our members at a reasonable price.”
It’s the latest bit of bad news for Whirlpool, which saw its share price drop nearly 10% in early trading Tuesday. The company reported lower-than-expected earnings for its third-quarter earlier this week, cutting its financial outlook in the process.
Sears, meanwhile, is in the midst of a restructuring as it tries to adjust to a fast changing retail landscape. The company has closed stores this year, struck a deal with Amazon to sell its Kenmore appliances and sold off its once-iconic Craftsman brand. On Tuesday, Lowe’s (LOW) said it would begin selling Craftsman tools at its stores in the second half of 2018. Sears still carries the brand, but was previously the exclusive vendor of Craftsman.