Sears cutting ties with Whirlpool may have local ripple effect

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("whirlpool fever" by frankieleon, CC BY 2.0)

A national retailer’s decision Tuesday may have a big effect locally.

Whirlpool, the biggest employer in St. Joe and Benton Harbor, is being dropped from Sears stores. This brings to an end a partnership that has lasted 100 years.

In a note sent to their locations last week, Sears Holding Corporation said Whirlpool has sought to use its dominant position in the marketplace to make demands that would have impacted prices. Sears will therefore stop selling Whirlpool and its subsidieries, which include Maytag, KitchenAid and Jenn-Air, after they sell off the remainder of its current inventory.

There’s no immediate word yet on if or how many jobs will be affected in southwest Michigan.

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