Long-time general merchandising retail chain Sears continues to dabble with new concepts to keep the doors open and the offerings relevant from this vaunted retail institution.

It’s latest effort was to stretch its long-time Kenmore and Kenmore Elite private label brands to encompass lines of Full HD and 4K Ultra HDTVs for the first time.

The move is part of an over-arching effort by the company to squeeze additional profit opportunities out of its long-lived and generally well-trusted private label brands that also include: Craftsman and DieHard.

The company is also trying to leverage the brands to add its own spin on “the connected home,” by bringing out products that interconnect via the Internet of Things (IoT) for interoperability, home security and home automation.

Ironically, the connected aspect was missed on these relatively pedestrian Kenmore and Kenmore Elite LED LCD TVs, which lack any internal Wi-Fi connectivity to support built-in streaming apps, requiring users to add on a connected gaming console, media adapter or some other device with Wi-Fi connectivity to access popular over-the-top (OTT) streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.

Read more on Sears’ new Kenmore and Kenmore Elite TV lines after the jump:

Sears’ new private label TV lines are comprised of three HD LED LCD TV models in the 32-, 40- and 50-inch screen sizes, each of which will carry the Kenmore badge. The category will also include three 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TV models in the 50-, 55-, and 65-inch screen sizes under the step-up Kenmore Elite brand.

The HD Kenmore models quietly went on sale through the Sears’ Web site last month and hit retail stores last week. They carry street retail prices of $199.99 for 720p HD 32-inch 348.71360610 model; $299.99 for the 1080p Full HD 40-inch 348.71384610 model and $399.99 for the 1080p Full HD 50-inch 348.71385610 model, respectively.

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Sears said the three Kenmore HDTV models feature: five picture modes (standard, dynamic, movie, user and game), three HDMI inputs, VGA input, SPDIF output, and USB port. All models are listed with native 60 Hz refresh rates.

The 4K UHD Kenmore Elite models also first appeared online last month and are now available in stores at street retail prices of $749.99 for the 50-inch model 348.71395610; $899.99 for the 55-inch model 348.71397610 and $1,499.99 for the 65-inch model 348.71398610.

The Kenmore Elite UHDTV models offer 4K Ultra HD resolution (3840×2160) but do not support high dynamic range (HDR). Other features include: Dolby Digital Plus virtual surround sound technology to enhance sound from the TV and connected devices; Smooth Motion 120 motion compensation for fast moving pictures (the panel is listed as having a native 60 Hz refresh rate), three HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 inputs and LCD display with “dynamic back light to create high contrast and vivid color.” Presumably the latter is a direct LED back light system. We are waiting further details from Sears.

By Greg Tarr


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