(Reuters) – Amazon.com struck a deal with Sears Holdings Corp to provide tire services, boosting traffic at the ailing department store and extending the online retailer’s growing stable of alliances with brick-and-mortar companies.
Sears shares rose more than 25 percent, marking its best day in over a year, after the company said it would install any brand tires sold on Amazon at its stores. The deal also includes Sears selling its DieHard range of tires on the online retailer’s website.
Separately on Wednesday, the e-commerce giant said it had partnered with homebuilder Lennar Corp to convert some of the home construction company’s model homes into showrooms for Alexa. Amazon’s latest deal is another sign that the online behemoth sees the value of in-store pickup and in-person service that’s core to brick-and-mortar retail, that it and rivals see room to cooperate.
Over the past year, the online retailing giant has entered into partnerships with physical chains such as department store operator Kohl’s Corp to sell Amazon-branded items as well as use its retail locations for picking up online orders.. In April, Amazon tapped electronics chain Best Buy to sell smart televisions with the capabilities of its artificial assistant, Alexa, baked in. In return, Best Buy would become the exclusive merchant of these TVs on Amazon.com.
For Sears, the new deal extends its partnership with Amazon, where it already sells its Kenmore home appliances. It is a welcome boost for the struggling company that has seen years of declining sales as competition within the retail industry intensifies from the likes of Wal-Mart and other e-commerce platforms. Sears said the service would roll out to its Sears Auto Centers centers in the U.S. over the next couple of weeks. The company’s shares were up 21 percent at $3.35 in afternoon trading. They earlier touched a high of $3.46.
Amazon shares were up 0.6 percent at $1,602.81 on the same day Walmart Inc said it would pay $16 billion for a 77 percent stake in Indian online shopping website Flipkart, Amazon’s main rival in the Asian country.
Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru