Amazon has been cozying up to brick and mortar retailers over the past couple of weeks, including a partnership with Best Buy to sell smart TVs and Kohl’s to accept product returns and showcase smart home products. Along with their acquisition of Whole Foods and implementation of physical locations such as Amazon Books and Amazon Go, the retailer seems to have placed a heavy focus on in-person shopping. What’s next on the list? Sears.
The struggling department store chain has been making several strategic moves to gain relevancy and profitability, including reinstating their iconic Holiday Wish Book and considering selling the Kenmore brand. Most recently, Sears announced a partnership that allows Amazon customers to purchase automobile tires on the Amazon Marketplace, and receive full-service installation and balancing at Sears. Sears has already begun selling their DieHard all-season tires on Amazon, but will provide in-personal service for any brand of tire.
Adding themselves to a growing list of brick and mortar retailers, Sears has adopted the “if you can’t beat them, join them” mentality. While an Amazon partnership has been beneficial to retailers like Kohl’s and Best Buy, time will tell if Sears has made the right decision. Immediately after the announcement, Sears shares jumped over 16%, and some have described the partnership as a move that “could actually save Sears.” Others aren’t convinced, claiming that the partnership “won’t save Sears from bankruptcy.”