GE Major Appliances to Sell at Walmart: EXCLUSIVE

Walmart to roll out General Electric major appliances on the Walmart.com website and evidently on the floor of many Walmart store locations sources at Walmart say.  Walmart does not yet carry any brand of major appliances.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the roll out starts April in 150 Texas stores, expanding in waves thereafter.  Coincidentally (or not), Texas is the closest territory to GE’s largest off-shore production source, MABE, which is based in Mexico.  Hopefully we will be able to confirm the roll out plan soon.

Though GE is available nationally through Home Depot, Lowes and Sears, the addition of Walmart is different, and could be an existential threat to dealers serving the mass market.  One might also expect downward price pressures on the economy lines of Whirlpool and Frigidaire.  Having wiped out America’s mainstreet downtowns, leaving only the post office and the appliance dealer as the last downtown store fronts doing business, Walmart takes aim at appliances.

GE already manages all of Home Depot’s appliance fulfillment no matter the brand, and we expect that GE is leveraging this built-in competitive advantage to serve Walmart in like-fashion.

There are 2843 Walmart Super Centers, and 750 Walmart Discount stores in the Unites States

8 Responses to GE Major Appliances to Sell at Walmart: EXCLUSIVE

  1. … that some manufacturer would utilize one of the last national bastions of retail prowess to sell their offerings and GE was the first of, what I predict, will be many … and what better a presence than Wal-Mart to guarantee effective marketing in Asia than someone who has made a science of exposure there !!! 

     

    Stateside, this will, undoubtedly, etch into the volumes and market share currently held by local private Dealerships, so it is, once again, all the more important to get their message out as to why customers NEED to buy their Appliances from a private Dealer … otherwise, it may be time to start working on an exit strategy !!!

    • In the products that Walmart is likely to be selling, is there any value that an independent dealer adds?  This is the replacement market for white appliances.  Plug and play commodities.  Are these consumers who will be asking about BTU’s, oven heat up times, make-up air, timed cooking features, etc, etc, etc.  No these are folks looking for a 30" wide white cooking box to stick in a 30" kitchen hole.  They are price shoppers, not foodies, not Gourmet magazine readers, not picky discerning consumers.
      They ask:

      • Will it fit
      • Will it work
      • How much
      • When does it arrive
      • Does the brand have a decent reputation

      There is nothing that an independent dealer can do to win this business if competing with Walmart.

  2. What’s next … Costco?  Ooops, I forgot, Whirlpool already went there!  Oh well, who needs indepedent dealers, anyway?  The Big Brands still have Walgrens and Target that they can signup to pick up the slack.

     

  3. Reuters reports that the test is ‘ON’ in 20 Texas locations.
    Reuters reports that the appliance area will be staffed by a Texas "Rent to Own" company.  If it’s Walmart, you know it’s going to be classy.

    Reuters

  4. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is reporting on some of the specifics of this placement by GE in their local Wal-Mart stores … Here’s a link to the story:

     

    http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/05/23/3097681/walmart-to-test-ge-appliance-sales.html

     

    I do not think this was a willy-nilly "test" as demonstrated by the enhanced lease-to-own scheme in place, the specialized sales associates, and the 50-80 pieces that are said to be "on-site" … 

     

    Independent Dealers ought to be ware of this possible behemoth who will need to feed on the sales of smaller seemingly defenseless purveyours !!!

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