This month, Sears began selling Craftsman tools through Costco club outlets, including hand tools, power tools, and tool storage units. It’s not the first time the company has sold its products through potential competitors — K-Mart picked up Craftsman products after the companies merged*, and Orchard Supply Hardware in California, Fastenal retail outlets, and AAFES all carry Craftsman. Even a number of ACE Hardware stores recently started carrying the line.
Sears is reaching out essentially to one of its own major competitors — Sears Holdings is ranked #10 on the National Retail Foundations’s Top 100 Retailers list. Competitors Home Depot (#5 on the list) and Lowe’s (#8) still don’t cross streams with Sears, but Costco’s in the top ten, too, at #6, doing almost double the retail sales in the U.S. and worldwide last year. And now, by the end of the year, all 430 Costco outlets will carry the Craftsman line.
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BuildingOnline.com reported this week that DeWalt and Empire announced “that they will end their partnership on the private label line of professional box levels that Empire Level licensed, designed and manufactured in 2010 under the DeWalt brand.” Considering DeWalt’s new Stanley Black & Decker heritage, this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
What may be surprising, however, is what else comes from this still-shaking-out merger. Back when it first happened, we received a lot of reader mail. You were concerned about discontinuation of popular product lines, and you hoped for new, greater ones. We posted some of our best guesses — including new combos of power and hand tools crossing traditionally-separated brands and price categories — and we’re still convinced we’re on the right track. Of course, we’ll know even more when we see available products.
DeWalt/Empire Agree To End Private Label Partnership [BuildingOnline]