NEW YORK (AP) — Sears no longer will sell Whirlpool appliances, ending a business relationship that dates back more than a century.
In a note sent to its stores last week, Sears said Whirlpool was making demands that would have made it difficult to sell its appliances at a competitive price.
Sears has been ravaged by new competition for years, from stores such as Home Depot and also from Amazon.com and other online retailers. It’s been closing stores as competitors take a bigger slice of the territory it dominated for decades.
In the United States, consumers buy most of their small appliances from Walmart, according to market research firm TraQline. Amazon comes in second, with Sears placing fourth behind Target.
The end of the Sears-Whirlpool partnership is effective immediately, and Sears also is pulling from its floor products from Whirlpool subsidiaries such as Maytag, KitchenAid and Jenn-Air.
Sears said it would sell off the remainder of its Whirlpool inventory. Its stores now will sell only its Kenmore products and other brands, like LG, Samsung, GE, Frigidaire, Electrolux and Bosch.
The relationship dates to 1916, when Whirlpool began making two types of wringer washers for Sears, Roebuck and Co., according to Whirlpool’s website. At that time, Sears operated exclusively through mail order. The Hoffman Estates, Illinois, company, now Sears Holdings Corp., also owns Kmart.
Shares of Whirlpool Corp., based in Benton Harbor, Mich., tumbled more than 9 percent before the market opened on Tuesday.