retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg reports that upscale department store Bloomingdale’s is getting into the appliance business, “adding high-end LG televisions, washers, stoves and other items to its website and flagship Manhattan location on 59th Street. The company says the products complement its existing offerings, which draws shoppers on the hunt for designer apparel and accessories.”

The selection will be in synch with the retailer’s upscale reputation: “Signature series products from LG Electronics … include a $7,000 refrigerator with an opaque door that turns transparent to the touch, so the owner can view what’s inside. There’s also a washer-dryer (price tag $3,200) that automatically measures laundry’s dirtiness and distributes the appropriate amount of detergent.”

The Bloomberg story notes that “the company said the move is unrelated to the bankruptcy of Sears Holdings Corp., which for decades was the U.S. leader for sales of home appliances. Even so, Sears, which filed for protection from creditors last month, is potentially leaving about $14 billion in sales up for grabs. Bloomingdale’s follows retailers such as Best Buy Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. that have also increased their appliance offerings as Sears’s outlook has deteriorated.”
KC's View: