However, no two cats in the yard and such, because I’m highly allergic.
Dogs, however, are welcome!
Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the last year or so, you probably are aware of several major department store chains facing bankruptcy and closure. Sears, Toys R Us, and now JC Penney. None of these major stores – correction, make that no store – is safe from the looming doom of Chapter 11. Staples of our lives are going out of business, leaving behind liquidation and clearance sales, as well as so much left over merchandise no one would want to buy in good times.
One such store that faced closure and the end of their brand is Sears, which declared Chapter 11 in October 2018, forcing the closure of stores across the country (including my local Sears store). However, Sears did win its bankruptcy auction in January 2019, and would shrink, keeping open around 400 stores.
It’s a nice end to the story, but it doesn’t help that my once bustling local mall now has a giant vacant anchor store in it. And now, JC Penney is going to be closing in July in my mall, which is proof that nothing is safe.
For many years (and such is still the case) Sears has had its own “private label” brand of appliances, which were considered a gold standard of appliances among the elites. They did sell the major name brands, but their own was there because they could. That brand was Kenmore, and my childhood home had Kenmore appliances in it when we moved in.
And in today’s commercials (yes – two commercials, from 1989 and 1991), you’ll find out why your house is a very (very very) fine house with Kenmore appliances in it.
And having those appliances makes us want to sing a tune…
And go for a run, so we can wash our sweaty clothes…
And when you click play, life will not be so hard!
The first commercial, while it promotes Sears as the then-exclusive seller of Kenmore appliances, was actually more a commercial for the product rather than the seller.
By appealing to the warmth of suburban home life, and appliances that handle the family’s needs in the best and most efficient way possible, while using a song that reminds you of “the simple life” and everything it offers.
Meanwhile, in 1991…
Sears is actually the main advertiser here, promoting the actual product as part of a sale…
Wow, $333 and $266 for each piece, and $30 off if you buy the pair? None too shabby!
Kenmore has been around since 1913 (Sears, by comparison, has been around since 1886). The brand is currently owned by KCD IP LLC – which stands for Kenmore Craftsman DieHard Intellectual Property, which is a special purpose entity created by Sears for securitization purposes. In more recent years (as of 2017, actually), Kenmore products are produced by several major appliance brand companies – Whirlpool, LG, Electrolux, Panasonic, Cleva North America, and Daewoo Electronics. The products aren’t exclusive to Sears anymore, and are also sold on Amazon in addition to Sears and Kmart. Kenmore grills are sold at Target and The Home Depot.
The one thing I found interesting about the first commercial was the dishwasher branded as “Lady Kenmore.”
The branding was actually in use until the mid-1990s, which seems surprising for the progressiveness of the time. I’m quite surprised that appliances would have had a gender-typing name beyond, say, the 1970s.
But hey, whatever floats your boat – or in this case, washes your dishes, cooks your food, makes those perfect pancakes, cubes the ice just right, keeps the food cold/frozen, and gets the clothes the cleanest they can get.
Life used to be so hard before Kenmore!
On that note, we’ll leave behind our very very very fine house of the 1980s (and the sweaty runners house of the 1990s), and move on to another prominent Sears product that still exists today (oh thank goodness, this is one of those “semi high note” weeks!).
That will happen tomorrow, but until then, have a terrific Throwback Thursday!