- Sears Holdings is now selling some of its DieHard brand battery and automotive products on Amazon's website.
- Already on the e-commerce giant's website are jump starters, battery chargers and maintainers at a branded url, www.amazon.com/diehard, which currently includes a DieHard marketing banner at the top. Sears said in a release that it would add DieHard car tires and automotive batteries to Amazon's site in early 2018.
- Tom Park, president of Sears' Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands, said in a statement that selling the brand through Amazon "makes it easier for millions to shop the brand." He added that "we want to diversify the revenue streams of our iconic brands and launching on Amazon.com will significantly expand the distribution and availability of the DieHard brand in the U.S., building on the success of our recent Kenmore appliances launch on Amazon.com."
Sears is deepening its relationship with Amazon, ostensibly to broaden the market for the brand.
It's a question many if not most brands have to at least ask themselves these days: To sell or not to sell on Amazon? As just one example, Nike this year, in a blow to brick-and-mortar retailers like Dick's and Foot Locker, decided to start selling its products directly over Amazon's website.
Sears first planted its flag on Amazon when it decided this summer to sell some of its Kenmore appliances on Amazon's website, along with connecting them to the e-commerce company's Alexa voice assistant platform. Investors saw it as a boon to Sears, and they punished the stock of some of the major appliance sellers like Home Depot and Lowes, knocking billions off their market value as investors saw a path for Amazon to become a major appliance seller.
We've heard little about the partnership since (except for Park's note Thursday that it has been a "success"). Not all observers were moved by the Kenmore deal. Jeffries analyst Daniel Binder wrote at the time that, "Just because Kenmore is available on Amazon doesn't mean customers are going to want this dying brand anymore than they do now."
David Silverman, senior director for retail coverage at Fitch Ratings, told Retail Dive in a July interview that the Kenmore deal with Amazon risked cannibalizing Sears' store sales — which it desperately needs these days. "Is every sale they do out of Amazon potentially taking market share from someone else, or is it a sale they would have done out of their own store anyway, and potentially less lucrative because Amazon takes a piece of that?" Silverman said.
But there is also positive promise for Sears in partnering with Amazon. Greg Portell, lead partner of consulting firm A.T. Kearney's retail practice, told Retail Dive this summer that the Kenmore deal could help Sears win new customers and provide data on customers it couldn't have gotten without Amazon's help.
Sears has inked other deals this year in efforts to broaden the consumer base for its DieHard and Kenmore brands. It's also worth noting that the retailer was reportedly looking to unload both brands, along with Craftsman, as recently as March in an effort to shore up its famously troubled finances.
For Amazon's part, the DieHard deal marks its deepening foray into auto parts sales. As Reuters reported in January, Amazon is looking to get a piece of the $50 million auto parts market through supply contracts with large parts makers.