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The smart-home trend now knocks at Kohl’s

BY Marianne Wilson

Yet another traditional retailer is partnering with Amazon, as the online behemoth continues to expand its presence in brick-and- mortar stores. 

Kohl's plans to add an Amazon "smart home experience' in-store shop, or "zone," in 10 select Kohl’s locations across the Los Angeles and Chicago areas starting in October. The spaces will allow shoppers to try out and purchase Amazon devices, accessories and smart home devices and services directly from the online retailer.

"We are thrilled to offer a unique new way for customers to try out our lineup of Alexa-enabled Amazon devices, learn more about our smart home services from Amazon experts and then buy those items directly from Amazon — all within Kohl’s stores,” said Dave Zimmer, VP, sales and marketing, Amazon Devices. “Teaming up with Kohl’s provides an incredible opportunity to pair world-class customer and shopping experiences.”

The 1,000-sq.ft. smart home space in Kohl's will provide a hands-on experience where customers can interact with a variety of Amazon devices, including Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Fire TV, and Fire tablets. The experience will showcase how smart home products – many powered by Alexa – can modernize and simplify home management, entertainment, security and more.  It will be staffed by Amazon sales associates.

Customers will be able schedule an Amazon expert to come to their home, evaluate their needs and install smart home products. The in-store zones will also promote Amazon Home Services, which offers access to vetted local services professionals to help with everything around the house from cleaning to plumbing.

"We believe in the power of our store portfolio and know that our future as a best-in-class omnichannel retailer will be driven by how inventive, compelling and unique we can make our store experience,” said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief merchandising and customer officer. “Kohl’s and Amazon share a customer obsession and we’ve joined together to leverage each other’s strengths and deliver a great experience customers can only find at Kohl’s.”

Amazon's partnership with Kohl's comes several months after Sears announced it would sell its Kenmore brand appliances on Amazon.com.

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Newell lights up a deal with candle maker

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Against the backdrop of a home improvement industry increasingly looking to the housewares category for margin-boosting and traffic-generating items, Newell Brands has acquired what it calls a “fast-growing” candle maker.

Newell, which also owns Yankee Candle, announced Thursday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Chesapeake Bay Candle from its founders, for a purchase price of $75 million, subject to customary working capital adjustments.

Based in Rockville, Maryland, Chesapeake Bay Candle is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of premium candles and other home fragrance products. The company is focused on consumer wellness and natural fragrance. Newell said Chesapeake Bay Candle is a “fast-growing business,” with annual net sales of approximately $55 million.

The acquisition will be reported as part of Newell Brands’ Live segment.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and will be funded from cash on hand at the time of closing, which is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Newell Brands’ portfolio also includes home and house brands such as Paper Mate, Sharpie, Elmer’s, Coleman, Sunbeam, Rubbermaid and First Alert.

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HBSDealer Stock Watch: Strong showing

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Industry stocks were again on the positive ledger Thursday. SHOS led the winners, up 8.33% while HBP gained 6.84%. On the down side, NWL fell 4.83%.

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