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Sears deal will put Kenmore vacuums, DieHard batteries, flashlights on more shelves

Sears Holdings has inked two more licensing deals that will put a wider range of Kenmore and DieHard products on shelves outside Sears and Kmart stores.

Cleva North America will manufacture vacuum cleaners — including stick, hand and robotic models — and other floor cleaning accessories under the Kenmore and Kenmore Elite brands, Sears said Tuesday in a news release.

Cleva, which makes Vacmaster and Armor All vacuums and LawnMaster mowers and power tools, will be able to sell the Kenmore vacuums at retailers worldwide.

Lighting products-maker Dorcy International, which already makes DieHard batteries and flashlights, will be able to make a wider range of products and sell them in more places under the new agreement, Sears said. Dorcy's DieHard products will be distributed in the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Latin America and some locations in the South Pacific.

Executives at Cleva and Dorcy said they plan to develop new products under the Kenmore and DieHard names. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

"Both of these agreements are examples of our expansion strategy to unleash the power of these iconic brands internationally," Tom Park, president of the Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands at Sears Holdings, said in the news release. "We will have direct and active involvement in building the business with our licensing partners and we're confident that both Cleva and Dorcy will maintain our high quality standards."

Hoffman Estates-based Sears has been looking for ways to generate more cash from its best-known brands for more than a year.

Since the beginning of 2017, Sears agreed to sell the Craftsman tools brand to Stanley Black & Decker for an estimated $900 million. Sears also signed a deal to allow California-based Permasteel to manufacture Kenmore grills for distribution at retailers nationwide.

One of the biggest expansions for the Kenmore brand came last month, when Sears began selling Kenmore appliances on Amazon. In the U.S., most Kenmore products — particularly major appliances — had been sold only in Sears stores.

Sears began selling 61 more products on Amazon earlier this month. They are currently available only to customers in California, but Sears eventually plans to offer the full line of Kenmore appliances to Amazon shoppers nationwide. Sears said last week that it expects to have them for sale on Amazon in Chicago by late September.

lzumbach@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @laurenzumbach

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