CHICAGO — Sales of household appliances in the U.S. are on the rise, but Sears is not holding on to its traditional dominance in the market, the Chicago Tribune reports. With more and more millennials buying their first homes, and baby boomers downsizing from their empty nests, conditions are ripe for retailers of major appliances. Yet while these have long been a staple of Sears’ business, the struggling retailer is losing ground to big boxes like Home Depot, Best Buy, and even J.C. Penney in appliance sales. Last year, for the first time, Sears came in behind Lowe’s among destinations for appliance spending. “We have to make sure we’re doing things to understand why we’re not [on top] and either get back or protect where we are,” said Dean Schwartz, Sears’ president of hardlines.