January 5, 2017

RETAIL BLUES: Sears Sells Craftsman Brand, Will Close 150 Stores.

Sears is flipping the Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc., and it will license back the ability to sell Craftsman-branded products royalty-free for 15 years after the deal’s closing. The acquisition gives Stanley the rights to develop, manufacture and sell Craftsman-branded products outside of Sears.

Today just 10% of Craftsman-branded products are sold outside of Sears. Stanley Black & Decker said the deal will help boost Craftsman sales in untapped channels.

“We intend to invest in the brand and rapidly increase sales through these new channels, including retail, industrial, mobile and online,” said Stanley Black & Decker Chief Executive James Loree. Stanley also recently signed a $1.95 billion deal to buy Newell Brands Inc.’s tools business.

A Sears spokesman confirmed the unlimited lifetime warranty on Craftsman hand tools made in the U.S.—“a hallmark of the brand for generations”—will be kept in place.

Craftsman remains what Sears was; I hope Stanley doesn’t mess with it.

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