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Lowe’s and the Future of Sears’ Appliance Business

Recent financial news has continued to be negative for Sears Holdings. The company is closing 78 unprofitable stores, in addition to its clothing design office in New York City this year in efforts to improve its bottom line.

The company is still the favorite seller of appliances in the U.S., but Lowe’s might replace it as the category leader if the company fails, according to Forbes.

Lowe’s is the No. 2 preferred seller of appliances in the country, and “appears to be best positioned to succeed Sears’ reign,” the April 26 article from Forbes says.

Lowe’s looks like it is in a good position to replace Sears as shoppers’ top destination for buying appliances because consumer research “shows that the gap between Sears and Lowe’s has been steadily decreasing in the latter’s favor,” Forbes reports.

The five dominant appliance sellers, ranked in order by consumer loyalty, are Sears, Lowe’s, Best Buy, The Home Depot and Walmart, according to the article.

“Compared to their respective five year averages, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Best Buy are currently well-positioned with shoppers overall, while Sears and Walmart are facing declines,” the article says.

With this year’s store closures, Sears Holdings will be down to 1,500 Sears and Kmart store locations, or fewer than half the number the business owned 10 years ago, Forbes reported April 22.

“The decision to close stores is a difficult but necessary step as we take aggressive actions to strengthen our company, fund our transformation and restore Sears Holdings to profitability,” chairman and CEO Edward S. Lampert says. “We’re focusing on our best members, our best categories and our best stores as we work to accelerate our transformation.”

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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