According to the folks at Craftsman, approximately 100 Ace stores will begin selling Craftsman tools this May. That includes portable power tools, compressors, wet/dry vacs, and storage products — but most importantly, it includes hand tools. Later this summer Ace plans to extend the extend the offer to carry Craftsman products to all of its 4,500 stores.
Like you, we wonder how this’ll translate to the specific Ace stores near us. Unlike Sears, Ace stores are independently owned and operated, so they tend to vary a bit from store-to-store in terms of what they carry and what sort of experience you’ll receive. And this isn’t, in our opinion, a bad thing. While it certainly leaves room for error, it also leaves room for customizing the stores to local needs in a way the big-boxes simply can’t.
But the biggest question will be how they’ll handle warranty returns. Will they accept and rebuild/replace tools on the spot like Sears does now? If so, this’ll mean a lot of new business for them. If not, it could mean a dilution of the Craftsman brand. Either way, it could mean access to the Craftsman brand for those of you without a local Sears.
What do you think? Let us know in comments.