Sears's Future Is Cloudy, But Its Brands Just Unveiled Big Plans

(Bloomberg) -- Sears Holdings Corp. is expanding its lineup of Kenmore and DieHard products -- including its first-ever at-home electric vehicle charger -- even as the future of the bankrupt department-store chain remains in doubt.

The retailer, which is trying to stave off a potential liquidation after filing for Chapter 11 last month, announced a series of licensing agreements Thursday with third parties to make new home goods and auto parts under the Sears-owned brands. Terms of the deals weren’t disclosed. Here’s a quick look at what Sears announced:

  • AJ Consulting Inc. will sell DieHard-branded electric vehicle chargers for residential use with eventual plans to include commercial chargers and superchargers. Sales are expected at national retailers and distributors across North America and some parts of Europe. The plan includes building a charging network that lets electric-car drivers find DieHard charging stations on an app and map their route there.
  • DrinkPod LLC will manufacture at-home water filtration devices under the Kenmore brand while Gibson Overseas Inc. will make Kenmore housewares, from silverware to stemware.
  • TRICO Products Corp. will manufacture DieHard wiper blades, fuel pumps and gas assist springs. They will be distributed at retailers across the U.S.

The Kenmore and DieHard announcements come a day after Sears and Kmart’s chief brand officer, Peter Boutros, said that the company is stocking its shelves even fuller than in previous holidays seasons in a bid to entice customers who might not realize it’s still operating.

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