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Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

Posted January 11, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: toolbox Tools

In a deal announced Thursday, January 5, Stanley Black & Decker has agreed to purchase the Craftsman brand from Sears Holdings for an initial payment of $525 million, an additional $250 million after three years, and annual payments based upon sales growth through non-Sears channels for the next 15 years. In addition to increasing retail distribution of the brand, Stanley Black & Decker predicts an expansion of domestic manufacturing in order to meet anticipated demand.

Trademarked by Sears in 1927, the Craftsman brand remained an exclusive of the Chicago retailer for decades, but today can be purchased at Kmart (technically, the owner of Sears under Sears Holdings), Ace Hardware, U.S. military exchange stores, Grainger, Orchard Supply Hardware, and other outlets. Renowned for its lifetime warranty on hand tools (with exclusions), the Craftsman brand earned a place in millions of tool chests across the country thanks to a unique blend of value and convenience. Sears itself never manufactured the tools, but instead relied upon a variety of suppliers (including Stanley) to meet its needs.

All we really care about his how this affects tool quality and availability.

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#1

Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/11/2017 10:18 AM

All I know is, Sears is looking pretty said.

I liked Craftsman Tools, their a medium quality brand. I loved their lifetime warranty, only had to use it once, it was no problems, no questions asked and I walked out with a new replacement.

But I do know that Sears is/was buckling down on their warranty on their tools.

I hate to see Sears go, but until they stop looking for short term profits and start look at long term market share. If they don't they'll be a thing of the past.

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#2
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Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/11/2017 2:19 PM

Definitely agree. Sears was a staple of my childhood, my mom driving over to the Sears distribution store to pick up catalog purchases. Including the box of two dozen chicks. The Christmas Wish Book, . . . . . .Sadly, S&R is fading into obscurity. Giving up their exclusive marketing of Craftsman, affordable and decent quality tools readily available virtually anywhere in the U.S. was a stupid decision. 99% of my hand tools are Craftsman. If I turned wrenches for a living, I might have made different choices but for shade-tree mechanics, Craftsman is the way to go. Price, quality and availability. I've used their lifetime warranty on a few ratchets, and sockets, but that was about it. Again, easy, no-muss, no-fuss exchange.

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Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/11/2017 2:32 PM

A little off-topic. My brother when to tech school as a mechanic back in the mid 70's. When he brought his tools set home it was Snap-On. Being an ignorant 14 year old, I thought it was a cheap, because the open/box end wrenches were so thin.

Until I grab one to use. It was unbelievable the quality and tolerance.

But now-a-days, I think the differences are becoming more clouded between all the brands.

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Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/11/2017 6:49 PM

Again, I agree. Any time that I have twisted a Snap-On wrench, it just feels RIGHT in my hands. But again, as a shade-tree mechanic, Craftsman is still the right choice for me. Other tool makers are offering full-polish wrenches that are giving Snap-On a run for their money.

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#15
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Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/30/2017 8:56 AM

This just came into my feed,... I know of these people. Lol...

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#5

Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/11/2017 8:36 PM

I grew up using Craftsman tools and still use the ones I haven't lost.

I won't buy any more for the little use that I give tools. Harbor Freight tools are my new standard.

I think Edward Lampert, president, chief executive officer and top shareholder of Sears Holding Corp. Lampert, with personal assets estimated at $2 billion, is also the founder and manager of the hedge fund ESL Investments Inc. bought Sears with the intent of running it into the ground and selling the real estate and turning the rest of the assets into cash.

Brings back thoughts of Michael Milken.

We have a Whirlpool refrigerator and the ice maker needed service. What a nightmare that was.

First guy said we needed a new wiring harness and it had to be ordered. No ice.

One month later guy #2 said we didn't need a harness but another part. Still no ice.

Another month later guy #3 came, worked on it, said it was fixed and left. Still no ice.

Now, imagine how many phone calls we had to make to some semi-English speaking person in the Philippines to accomplish nothing but total frustration.

Sears offered us a $500.00 credit on a new refrigerator. Fat chance of that.

We buy ice now.

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#6
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Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/11/2017 10:55 PM

I used to buy almost exclusively Sears appliances because of parts availability and ease of maintenance. I won't buy anything remotely Sears related ever again.

My old Kenmore microwave of over 20 years bit the dust last year. Went to the local K-Mart and bought a new one. Worst piece of crap I've ever seen. Lousy user interface (can't mix power cooking and 0 power cooking in a continuous non-stop cycle, the turntable makes a 360° in about 12 seconds instead of 10 so heating a cup of coffee for one minute puts the cup handle on the back side of the box. Any heating cycle of 3 minutes or more shuts the heating power off for the last 15 seconds. And, finally, on any given day you can't be sure the system will give continuous cooking. Just this morning the stupid thing was giving cycles of 23 seconds power on and 7 seconds power off over the several minute cook cycle. It does that randomly enough that you don't want to be out of hearing range or you can't be sure you got the correct cooking cycle.

Piece of junk.

But I still have and use the Craftsman mechanic tool set I bought in 1966, minus some lost tools and one replaced screwdriver that I tried to use as a pry bar because I was too lazy to come out from under a car to get the proper tool.

Hooker

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#8
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Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/12/2017 2:31 AM

Lyn, I agree with you first sentence, but my experiences have been different with the rest.

Harbor freight tools are just pure junk, if you buy a craftsman or a snap-on, mat-co, carlisle, proto, and there is a metal fatigue failure, they may bend. Harbor freight tools can snap off, unexpectedly, then you slam your hand into something resulting into a major oweee.

We bought a whirlpool refrigerator from the local Sears store. Somehow a mouse got into the house and chewed up the wash tub inner liner. The service man came out, replaced the liner and the tub, gave me a warranty and didn't charge a dime for his time or the parts.

When he came out, we had a pleasant conversation talking shop, etc. It was a cold day outside, that and a cup of joe and he felt more at ease.

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#11
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Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/12/2017 9:52 AM

Harbor freight tools suit my purposes just fine. I don't work on cars (too old) (I do change my own disk brake pads) just bicycles with 11 and 12 year old boys.

I'm happy for you that your experiences with Sears are all peachy. Hopefully most everyone has had good experiences, I have not.

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Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/12/2017 1:09 PM

I agree, I needed a hammer drill, and I only use occasionally so I bought this over 10 years 14 years ago. and its still ready and works when I need it. I treat it as a disposable.

Only thing was it was orange and under $40.00.

I like to add, that some of my die hard friends that give me a hard time about HF tools that they only own American made tools.

Yet they borrow my harbor freight tools because that can't afford either American Made or HF.

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#13
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Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/12/2017 1:48 PM

Bought this 10 years ago, used it once, but I've got it if I ever need it.

$20.00 more or less.

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Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/12/2017 6:40 PM

They also give you extra brushes...

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#7

Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/12/2017 12:17 AM

I take this as very bad news! It reminds me of when Tandy/RadioShack bought out Allied Radio somewhere around 50 years ago. I was fairly young then, but it was very obvious even to a youngster that the quality of goods supplied suddenly dropped significantly. Fortunately, Allied somehow managed to break away, and now seems to be a pretty reliable supplier once again.

I long ago learned the value of quality tools, and still have most of the Craftsman tools I bought in the '60s. Of course those tools were purchased and used mostly to work on my car and engine; its been quite a few years since I last did any significant work on any car or engine!

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#9

Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/12/2017 4:06 AM

Doesn't matter the brand, snap-off, crapsman, stanley, dewalt B&D etc it's down to keeping the bean counters out of the process of purchasing the correct materials (steel in this case) in the first place, and all the subsequent processing stages, cut costs with poor materials from the cheapest recycling supplier and nothing you do will make it better.

Quality costs, high quality costs a lot and can be self defeating, you never sell a replacement, 'life-time' warranties on high end tools don't mean a thing if they keep breaking except cost to the manufacturer, or like snap-off they wriggle out every time by claiming misuse.

Britool Facom are not as good as they once were, Swedish Bacho still is, but their outsourced spanners are mediocre at best, only King-Dick seems to have kept up it's quality, but who can afford those? Let's hope SB&DDw don't cheapen the Craftsman brand as they have with other tools and they remain a good value middle of the road option.

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#10

Re: Stanley Black & Decker to Buy Craftsman Brand, Increase Distribution and Domestic Manufacturing

01/12/2017 9:04 AM

Only once did Sears refund my purchase price instead of a new replacement - their top of the line circular saw.

The original was a set with their largest portable table for ripping Southern Yellow Pine. It was set up as the only item on a short three outlet extension cord next on a 15 amp outlet. We loaded the outlet at a bit above 15 amp, about 18, and it tripped, ergo, no problem malfunction. The saw never tripped the outlet. We ran 2x through the saw at a constant even rate with very little RPM drop, periodically checking the blade tip and temperature condition, as well as that of the saw motor housing, which while warm was not alarmingly hot.

Still, the internal motor thermal switch kicked at about 45 minutes into actual cutting operation, with the saw coming back to life after about 10 minutes. During the day, the frequency of thermal switch kicking increased, but with no other indication of motor failure (extreme overheating, smoking, bearing whine, etc.). We lost about 1.5 hours of production in the first day. The saw went back to Sears that night, with a replacement, and a repeat performance the second day. Sears was perplexed, as were we, but when the third day was a repeat of the first two days, all they would do is give us our money back, which we accepted having already bought a Skil saw table set that day and gotten flawless performance at about one-third higher price.

Stanley and B and D are poster children of the American basic tool manufacturing demise. I am now just wearing out a set of 60 year old 6 and 12 point Western Auto socket wrenches, and, that, mostly my fault in the occasional use of the sockets on an impact wrench.

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