Transformco is the private holding company formed in February of 2019 to purchase the surviving assets of Sears Holding Company, which in turn owned Kmart and Sears Roebuck and Co. The latter holding company was formed in 2004 after an $11 billion merger of Kmart and Sears, a 134-year-old company. Sears struggled financially, and the parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on October 15, 2018. While Sears won its bankruptcy auction in January 2019, the corporation has been massively closing stores since--in the past 15 years, it has closed over 3,500 stores. So what stores does Sears own in 2020? Take a look at the few and honorable mentioned Sears subsidiaries left.
The Kenmore Appliances brand is owned by Sears but manufactured by various appliance makers. The brand has a long history of over 100 years, having launched in 1913 originally on sewing machines. Appliances include washers, dryers, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, and freezers. Manufacturers include LG, Panasonic, and Whirlpool among others. Kenmore is sold throughout all Sears retail stores and, since 2005, in all Kmart retail stores. Kenmore's high-definition and ultra-high-definition televisions, refrigerators, and laundry machines are some of its top-selling products. Today, the department store chain announced it would start selling Kenmore appliances on Amazon.com (AMZN). Some of these Sears subsidiary's appliances also include integration with Amazon's Alexa platform.
- Sears Holding Company, owned by the parent company Transformco, has a storied past dating back to 1886.
- Although it filed for bankruptcy in October of 2018, the company won its bankruptcy auction in February 2019 and announced it would continue to operate.
- Today, its remaining subsidiaries that have not been sold or acquired include Kenmore, Wally Labs, Shop Your Way, and Monark.
Shop Your Way
Sears got into the e-commerce game through Shop Your Way, a free shopping rewards program offering millions of products, personalized services, and advice. Members can earn points through shopping online for cashback, as well as connect with friends and family members as well.
Monark Premium Appliances
The Monark Sears subsidiary sells premium home appliances that, according to its website, "serve architects, builders, designers, developers, and homeowners." It has over 20 showrooms across the West Coast and Florida for professionals to take their pick of the best cooking, cooling, and cleaning appliances. Some of its brands sold include Bosch, GE Monogram, Miele, and Thermador.
Honorable Mention: Lands' End
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. As the company grew more popular, Lands' End spun off into a publicly-traded company (listed on the New York Stock Exchange as LE) in 2014.
Honorable Mention: DieHard
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, power sport, and lawnmower batteries. It also sells chargers, inverters, tools, 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. While DieHard can still be found in Sears auto supply and repair shops, Advance Auto Parts acquired DieHard brand for $200 million on December 23, 2019.
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 Stanley 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, are dependent on whether Black & Decker maintains and increases the market share of the brand.