Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD) is the holding company of Kmart Holding Corporation anf Sears, Roebuck and Co. The holding company was formed in 2004 after an $11 billion merger of Kmart and Sears. According to end-of-year financial filings in 2016, the company operated 735 Kmart stores and 695 Sears stores, including specialty stores such as free standing Sears Auto Centers. The number of stores have decreased in the past couple or years, and during the fiscal year of 2016, the company generated $22.1 billion in revenues, a 12% decrease compared to 2015. The latter is due both to a decreased number of stores, and the economic decline in the retail industry.
For related reading, see: 2017: The Year of Retail Bankruptcies
The Kenmore Appliances brand is owned by Sears through KCD IP LLC but manufactured by various appliance makers. Appliances include washers, dryers, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators and freezers. Manufacturers include General Electronic Company (NYSE: GE) and Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR). Kenmore is sold throughout all Sears retail stores and, since 2005, in all Kmart retail stores. Kenmore added high-definition and ultra-high definition televisions to the Kenmore brand in 2016. In July, 2017, the department store chain announced it would start selling Kenmore appliances on Amazon.com (AMZN). Some of the appliances will also be intergrated with Amazon's Alexa plantform.
Lands' End was originally formed as a sailing equipment company in 1963. The company expanded business operations to include casual clothing and general furnishings online and through mail-order catalogs. The misplaced apostrophe at the end of Lands' was a typo that couldn't be retracted due to budget constraints. Sears acquired Lands' End in 2002 for $1.9 billion in cash. The company expanded its clothing line to include Canvas, Sport, Lighthouse and Business Outfitters. Sears implemented a spin off of Lands' End (NYSE: LE) to shareholders on Dec. 6, 2013. The company operates 215 Lands' End Shops in-store at Sears.
This popular line of automotive batteries was launched in 1967. DieHard markets a medium-duty as well as a premium-priced heavy-duty line of automotive, marine, recreational vehicle, powersport and lawnmower batteries. It also sells chargers, inverters, tool and alkaline batteries, and work boots. DieHard expanded its core business to include its own brand of tires. The company initially marketed its battery with a lifetime warranty and the claim that it was built to "last forever" when it originally launched in 1967. Eventually, the company changed that policy to include a seven-year warranty and two-year free replacement on its top-line battery. As of 2017, DieHard marketed three types of car batteries: the regular DieHard with an 18-month warranty, DieHard Gold with a three-year warranty and the DieHard Platinum battery, which comes with a with a four-year warranty.
Honorable Mention: Craftsman
The Marion-Craftsman Tool Company sold the rights to Craftsman to Sears, which registered the trademark on May 20, 1927. The middle-tier Craftsman brand tools are marketed as a mix of quality and value for the average retail consumer. The higher-tier brands Craftsman Professional and Craftsman Industrial are specialized high-quality tools that cater to industry professionals and contractors. On January 5, 2017, the company announced it would sell the Craftsman brand to Sanley Black & Decker Inc (SWK) for $525 million, with an additional $250 million cash payment in three years, and 2.5-3.5% of Craftsman sales the next 15 years. The latter payments, however, is dependent on whether Black & Decker maintains and increases the market share of the brand.