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Sears, Whirlpool end partnership: What’s really going on?

Sears announced it will no longer sell Whirlpool appliances, a business relationship that has lasted more than 100 years.

Sears officials said in a note last week that it could not meet demands made by Whirlpool, which would make it difficult to sell its appliance at a competitive price, The Associated Press reported. Retailers like Sears have seen widespread stores closures and plummeting sales as consumers head online to websites like Amazon.com for convenient shopping.

Here’s five things to know about the ending partnership:

1. END OF ERA The partnership between Whirlpool and Sears ends effective immediately, and Sears will also pull products from Whirlpool subsidiaries including Maytag, KitchenAid and Jenn-Air.

2. SHARES DROP Shares of Whirlpool Corp., based in Benton Harbor, Michigan, dropped more than 9 percent before the market open on Tuesday. The company has a major presence in the Ohio area, and employs more 10,000 workers in Ohio — including about 1,000 at its Greenville facility. The plant about an hour’s drive from Dayton is one of five Whirlpool manufacturing facilities in Ohio.

» STORE CLOSINGS: 75 retailers expected to close on Thanksgiving

3. OHIO PRESENCE Whirlpool has several manufacturing sites in Ohio including: Ottawa, Clyde, Marion and Greenville. Ohio has more Whirlpool manufacturing sites than any other state in the U.S. In May 2016, Whirlpool Corp. opened its $40 million expansion of the KitchenAid plant in Greenville, nearly doubling the size of the factory.

4. MORE WORKERS The company has been hiring for the expansion and says it will add 400 employees to the plant by 2018, upping the total jobs there to 1,400 workers. Whirlpool first announced the expansion plans in March 2014. The company builds the popular KitchenAid stand mixer at the plant.

5. RECENT EARNINGS The company announced its third-quarter net earning this week. Third-quarter net sales were $5.4 billion, compared to $5.2 billion in the same prior-year period, an increase of more than 3 percent. Excluding the impact of currency, sales increased 2 percent. Whirlpool North America reported third-quarter net sales of $3.0 billion, compared to $2.9 billion in the same prior-year period. Excluding the impact of currency, sales increased 4 percent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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