The Craftsman tool brand, which has been a Sears icon for almost 100 years, is going to be sold at Lowe’s beginning in the second half of 2018. It’s the first time that the brand, which was created by Sears almost 100 years ago, will be sold at a big-box retailer.
“We have been more than impressed with the level of commitment and support afforded by Lowe’s for the Craftsman brand,” Stanley Black & Decker President of Global Tools and Storage Division Jeffrey Ansell told CNBC.
Stanley Black & Decker bought the brand from Sears for $525 million in cash, as well as the promise of an additional $250 million payment at the end of the third year of the companies’ relationship.
Sears will continue to sell the brand, and it will get a percentage of all Craftsman sales for the next 15 years, according to an agreement with Stanley Black & Decker, the company that owns the Craftsman brand. It will also be allowed to sell Craftsman products made by its existing suppliers, royalty-free, for up to 15 years.
Although the Craftsman move shows just how much trouble Sears is in economically—in its recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it said there is “substantial doubt” that the company will “continue as a going concern,” and it’s borrowed $100 million from its CEO’s hedge fund to get it through the holiday season—it’s also good news for American customers, and American workers.
Stanley Black & Decker is shifting production of Craftsman tools from overseas plants to U.S. facilities. It’s also planning on opening a new U.S. factory, although the company hasn’t said just where this plant will be.
“Craftsman is still an incredibly strong brand, albeit one that is largely manufactured overseas and basically situated with one major retailer,” Stanley Black & Decker CEO James Loree said in January when the sale was announced. “We believe this is an excellent opportunity to invest in, re-Americanize, and revitalize this legendary brand, ramp up product innovation, and broaden its distribution.”