Craftsman, a century-old staple of Sears’ tool department may soon operate independently of its department-store master. According to a CNN report, “Sears Holdings Corp. plans to reorganize into several companies,” specifically it appears that they intend to split out the Craftsman and Diehard brands. CNN interviewed a Sears spokeswoman who said that the new structure would provide the “operating businesses with greater control, authority and autonomy.”
The combination of Sears and Craftsman has always been a real powerhouse in the industry, mating decent quality, inexpensive tools to an easily-accessible retail store — a task that other tool manufacturers (lacking their own retail facilities) have found daunting. Could this split mean that we’ll see Craftsman tools for sale in other retailers — even Wal-Mart? Or could this announcement lead to further inroads for other manufacturers into Sears tool aisles?
We can’t help but think that with its own corporate structure, Craftsman might choose to bring more design and manufacturing back in house — which might help to improve the some-are-great-some-not-so-much quality of their power tool and yard equipment lines.
One thing’s certain: if Craftsman retains their prominent Sears placement and expands to other retailers, hand tool manufacturers everywhere will be sweating this year.
Sears To Break Into Several Companies [CNN Money]