(Topic ID: 178366)

Craftsman sold to Stanley!?!


By pinball_faz

2 years ago



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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by volcanodiver
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#1 2 years ago

Just saw this. Very sad to watch this Sears train-wreck unfold in super duper slow motion.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-sears-sells-craftsman-stanley-20170105-story.html

Retail is so hard these days... used to do that in a prior life.

Here's hoping the Craftsman brand can continue to invent.
faz

#2 2 years ago

Craftsman was dead a long time ago - way before this deal.

#3 2 years ago

Kmart and Sears are dying. Everyone knew AMC was dead when they sold their Jeep brand. Same goes for Sears now that they've sold Craftsman.

#4 2 years ago

rumor has it that sears/kmart will be filing bankruptcy (yet again)

the selling of the craftsman brand may have been the only way to keep doors open a bit longer (and fingers crossed) with stanley there is the potential that they can bring the manufacturing back to the states again, improve the quality and make the name worth something once more

sears is still living in the 70s and never really adapted in my opinion. there's never anyone in their tool section that is knowledgeable about their product line, checking out takes forever, they want you to sign up for their mailing list (even after telling them "NO!") and you get at least 3' worth of receipts with various garbage printed off for a single transaction

their "life-time" guarantee (which is only applicable to select [hand] tools) has taken a huge hit over the years and outsourcing the manufacturing of many of their tools to china didn't help. heck, some of the screwdrivers that I purchased only a year or two ago are no longer stocked, so all they can do is give you store credit or substitute a similar item, which a few times just didn't cut it (a '0' phillips screwdriver for a broken '00' one isn't a substitution. that's like, "oh, you broke a 1/2" wrench? here's a 9/16" one to replace it"

#5 2 years ago

I thought it was odd several years ago when Ace Hardware started selling Craftsman tools.
I still mourn for Monkey Wards........................

#6 2 years ago

By all rights Sears should have died long before the K-Mart thing. The 90's were really rough for retail in general as the internet redefined what shopping was about. Sears was a cataloger (like Montgomery Wards and Spiegel). The mall-sprall of the 70's - 80's was a transition from light retail to powerhouse retail. The mega-model just could not sustain.

Back in the mid 90's Spiegel bought a massive Sears warehouse. Store closings rampant and selling off the warehouse were some of there big ticket desperate moves. But they still were acting like the 800lb gorilla trying to continue a superstore "services destination" with auto, optical, beauty, taxes, travel and the tie to Land's End just really made no sense. It's almost like the stores are saying, well... we can't sell product, so let's add a mini-store over here to fill up that space.

I don't think Sears is "dumping" Craftsman to live longer. My take is that they are cutting Craftsman loose to SAVE Craftsman! Crafto is not the brand it was, but then again, very few brands are. But I think it's a good fit. Stanley offers good quality tools for everyday people. Yes, if I want a great steel, I'm going to Lie-Nielsen to get a plane but for the rest of the world Stanley works.

Again, this is a super slow motion train-wreck. It's sad to watch and even sadder for those working at Sears. I worked for Spiegel for 15 years just before they started winding down. Late 80's Spiegel had fantastic growth, huge aspirations (heck, they bought Eddie Bauer for $260MM **CASH**)... then, 1991 there was that little war thing in the Gulf (the start) and then the Internet hit. 1990 was an amazing time to be in retail... 1995 stunk... and if you were a huge Queen Mary of a ship that could not react... you die.

faz

#7 2 years ago

I think everyone here has pretty well nailed it in some way, shape, or form. The Craftsman brand took a huge downturn over the last years once the brand went overseas. The quality wasn't there. For years and years Craftsman was "THE" brand to have. And you paid a premium for it. And you had toolsets handed down from father to son, etc. But it's changed now, and my Husky stuff is just as good, much more readily available, and much cheaper.

What we see everywhere is that the older brick and mortar stores need to make a radical shift to keep up with the changing retail market. It's across all retail sectors that this is happening. Unfortunately the model that worked for the last 75 years just isn't viable any more. Whether they are trying to sell Craftsman to save themselves or the brand doesn't matter. It's a shell of what it used to be. Personally I think that the day I went to KMart years ago and saw a Craftsman section was a huge nail in that coffin.

#8 2 years ago

I did a lot of research on Sears during the course of my MBA. They're not selling brands off to save anyone or anything. Their CEO is a strong believer in Randian economics and has let several once-profitable divisions die off to the "invisible hand of the market" while providing no leadership.

The base of his theory is, those divisions which perform well deserve the internal funding. Those that need help should have helped themselves. Basically survival of the fittest, but that's not a way to boost employee morale.

So anyway, if you trace his decisions since being instated he's just sold off division after division in the most personally profitable way. He's not trying to save Craftsman. He's trying to make the most he can for himself before using his golden parachute.

#9 2 years ago

Retail is changing at an insane level.

With the need being the Best Product, at the Lowest Price, with the fastest Service, and Guaranteed level of Perfection,
being the demand, companies are scrambling to find a niche to survive.

Look at the growth of Harbor Freight compared to Craftsman, the continued issues shared about game manufacturers,
and retail brick stores closing.

The belief of "picture" shopping for the best on the net is a Sport.

Whatever all this turns into, no doubt it will change again and again.

#10 2 years ago

Craftsman was sold to China long before Stanley (Black & Decker).

#11 2 years ago

I'm still hoping that more businesses at least offer products made locally with their overseas counterparts to provide a better quality option more mid-range. I'd buy the US tool if the prices (and obviously the high quality) were more middle of the road. I'm guilty of buying HF tools over quality Snap-On, SK, etc. because the price is so polar opposite. It seems there's a big difference and not many middle range tools which I would have considered Craftsman was years back. I buy many HF tools, but I don't waste money on their hand tools. Their nut drivers stripped in short time for pinball work and their impact sockets don't hold up in light automotive use (home).

I don't have hardly any Kobalt or Husky but suppose they are middle of the road?

#12 2 years ago

This is the same issue in all retail.

A low price...something achievable at the expense of quality.
The Desire for high quality, but the resistance of price.

The larger this gap, the more the "middle class" disappears.

Look at Pins..we want the highest quality, but dont want games costing more than say $6K.
We get the price, but dont like or expect better quality, innovation, etc.

Pain in the butt to manufacture anything today.

#13 2 years ago

Craftsman was the only thing Sears had going for them. I think they are throwing in the towel. They use to make quality mowers when roper was making them. Now there just crap. I had a roper that lasted 28 years. I bought a almost new craftsman and it's been nothing but a pain.

#14 2 years ago
Quoted from Shannyman:

Craftsman was the only thing Sears had going for them.

What?! My mom used to buy me Sears pants when I was a kid. Those things rocked.

#15 2 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

What?! My mom used to buy me Sears pants when I was a kid. Those things rocked.

mine were "Husky"
faz

#16 2 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

What?! My mom used to buy me Sears pants when I was a kid. Those things rocked.

Sears "tough-skin" jeans ... stiff as a board, but held up pretty good.

#17 2 years ago

I go to Sears about once a year....to get some of my tools replaced. If the replacement is made in China, I make a determination if I can save my original. The last time I was there, a guy was trying to get a tape measure replaced and the clerk was giving him a hard time and tried to explain to him that the tool was "at the end of its lifetime." I am pretty much done with them for now. I have heard that they are coming out with a new line of pro tools that will bring the quality back to what it once was.

That being said, just because a tool is made outside of the US does not make it garbage. Amazon is selling several brands made in Europe and Taiwan that are extremely good. Some examples include:

These vise grips. Best I have ever owned. Pricey, but worth it. Made in Spain
amazon.com link »

Sunex tools. Made in Taiwan but every bit as good as some of the pro brands IMHO for their hand tools.
amazon.com link »

#18 2 years ago

The last craftsman tape measure I broke they replaced it with a Stanley (funny ) they said it was a one time deal. Was told craftsman quit making there own because they broke so much

#19 2 years ago

The last time I brought in a 3/8 ratchet that broke they gave me the hardest time about replacing it. They couldn't get it apart to put in a rebuild kit so it had to be replaced. The Sears by me had a small arcade in it when I was little with I believe 6 pinball machines. It was quite a few as I recall. It was between lawn and garden and outdoor. This had to be around 1980 or so. Long gone.

#20 2 years ago

I'm far too young to remember it but I heard good things about when Sears used to be pickup only or whatever when they sent out catalogs instead of being a department store. Probably in the 60's/70's. The general consensus between the old folk in my family is that it went way downhill after that, along with Craftsman.

#21 2 years ago

I still go there to get their Ultra Plus laundry detergent. Works pretty well and best bang for buck! (If you decide to try it, one trick to using it, let it dissolve in warm water before doing dark clothes in cold water - it can create streaks. Home economics tips of the day, ).

They also still sometimes have good deals on tools.

Will be sad to see them go, but writing's been on the wall for a while...

#22 2 years ago

Haven't bought a Craftsman tool in a very long time, unless you count the Craftsman roll-around shop stool.

As I've grown older, I've gained an appreciation for tool manufacturers outside the US and China. Access to these brands is easy now with the digital age and online stores like Chad's Toolbox and others. You can get low end tools, mid range offerings, and spend your 401K if you so desire...

I have a 300pc Craftsman tool/socket set that my mother got for me in the late 80's - has held up great and have never had to replace one tool from the lot except for an extension piece where the spring loaded ball got stuck in. I've recently purchase a nice set of NWS pliers and Wera stainless steel screw drivers. Absolutely love them.

That all said, I love my Channellock (sp?) tools (made in the US) and my Klein long magnetic nut drivers (also made in the US).

Great tools are out there, readily available, from US and ROW manufacturers.

#23 2 years ago

Im sure this will not effect us . Craftsman will still be sol by Sears but it may let the brand expand to Home Depot, Lowe's and such

#24 2 years ago

i remember before our local Sears moved to the mall and have since now closed (they opened a "home store" in the mall now") Going to the candy counter and getting malted milk balls. Great stuff. one of the things i remember as a young child. probably 77or so.

#25 2 years ago

Simpsons Sears in Canada in the 1960's to the early 1990's were large stores within the urban areas. They had almost everything that a consumer needed, except produce. Even a 8 to 10 bay mechanic shops installing craftsman parts with a gas stations. Now it is a ghost of its self. Mostly just selling clothes, fashion accessories, some appliances, and the tool department is almost 1/2 the size of the past. Now Sears has both department stores and 'Home Store'. The tool quality dropped off many years ago, haven't gone to Simpsons Sears to buy craftsman tools since the late 1980's.

Not sure on this but Coldwell Banker owns Sears, or is it the other way around. Coldwell Banker is one of largest retail space land owners in North America. Retail stores may close, as the whole retail experience has changed.

#26 2 years ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

Retail is changing at an insane level.
With the need being the Best Product, at the Lowest Price, with the fastest Service, and Guaranteed level of Perfection,
being the demand, companies are scrambling to find a niche to survive.
Look at the growth of Harbor Freight compared to Craftsman, the continued issues shared about game manufacturers,
and retail brick stores closing.
The belief of "picture" shopping for the best on the net is a Sport.
Whatever all this turns into, no doubt it will change again and again.

You reminded me of the catalog stores, Service Merchandise, Best Products, A. J. Foland and Unity Buying Service (by Woodfield Mall for Faz and other Chicagoans). All are gone now....

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

What?! My mom used to buy me Sears pants when I was a kid. Those things rocked.

Kenmore Jeans; Sears Best - Steve Dahl

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from Otaku:

I'm far too young to remember it but I heard good things about when Sears used to be pickup only or whatever when they sent out catalogs instead of being a department store. Probably in the 60's/70's. The general consensus between the old folk in my family is that it went way downhill after that, along with Craftsman.

Catalog stores were in rural areas. Full stores were nationwide in larger cities.

#29 2 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

Catalog stores were in rural areas. Full stores were nationwide in larger cities.

AND you could order anything. Including livestock.

My favorite Spiegel Warehouse story was a return from a unhappy customer... they ordered a Monkey... A LIVE MONKEY... but what showed up was not... poor monkey.
faz

#30 2 years ago

This article recently came out about the death spiral that Sears is in. Its hard to imagine working at a company like this...
http://www.businessinsider.com/sears-failing-stores-closing-edward-lampert-bankruptcy-chances-2017-1

#31 2 years ago
Quoted from hoby1:

Im sure this will not effect us . Craftsman will still be sol by Sears but it may let the brand expand to Home Depot, Lowe's and such

I doubt HD or Loews would carry craftsman. They have their "premier" brand. Ace is a pretty good fit for Crafty... might turn into an exclusive. Keep in mind that some Craftsman branded tools are products from other MFRs just with a different label.

I've been using Wolfcraft clamps for years. Sears rolled out their version a few years later. The design is too close to be their own. Look, feel, construction and mechanics are the same. Even some of the varieties of size are the same.

Craftsman (resized).JPG
WolfCraft (resized).jpg

faz

#32 2 years ago

I have several Craftsman tool sets, while I grew up only using craftsman..... quality has gone completely down.

This maybe a good time to point out:
Husky Tools: Lifetime warranty
Gearwrench: Lifetime warranty
Ridgid: Lifetime warranty
Kobalt: Lifetime warranty

All are honestly about the same quality and same price. With Sears stores closing all over the place, it just makes sense to look at other brands.

BTW I was worried about Dewalt when black and decker bought them. However, its really their signature brand now. I hope to see the same thing with this deal. Maybe they'll get quality back?

#33 2 years ago

Yup, sad to see this. With my very first big-boy pay check (1988) I bought a full set of craftsman wrenches, sockets and screwdrivers (500 piece set I think). To this day I still have them and they get a lot of use. Over all those years I only had 2 sockets that had bad electroplating and both were replaced after 10 years. Last week I lost a socket - first piece gone missing. Unreplaceble! Fortunately there are some decent alternatives out there. But man Craftsman used to be second to none for quality light to medium duty tools.

#34 2 years ago

This really sucks. I do industrial maintenance and bought craftsman when I started because they where American made and lifetime warranty. Over the last couple years I've looked at alternative US made brands to turn over to.

#35 2 years ago

Retail may be hard but I've seen many stores that have come along and done what Sears did, do it better. Sears should have reinvented their stores years ago. Lowes and Menards came along to do the home improvement sector better and Wal-Mart progressively stole the other areas Sears did like coupling a department store with tire services.

I'm very surprised Sears has lasted this long. We lost the last big department store Sears within the last year in the mall in Bloomington

Kmart is something else though. With their many stores throughout the country, if they could have upped their customer service and had a great marketing plan they could have challenged Wal-Mart but they've slowly withered away. I still go there because there's no lines like in Wal-Mart but it feels barren and the stores seem messy.

#36 2 years ago

Kobalt warrenty at lowes meets and far exceeds craftsman, way easier to find a lowes than a sears, that being said kobalt stuff sucks unless its wrenches and socket tools, husky for most everything else, sears as a last resort when i need a special dogbone or offset wrench for work, but you go and lots of shelves empty. And they wonder what happened to their brand-good riddance, a lesson learned for other good companies left

#37 2 years ago

I've been pretty happy with Kobalt's tape measures. They don't fit in your hand like a Stanley in fact they are kind of bulky but they are durable.

I got a Craftsmen tape measure for Christmas a couple years ago. Replaced it 2 times in four weeks. The spring kept going bad. Finally just tossed the third one. A tape measure is pretty important to a guy working construction.

Stanley's are the best in my opinion.

#38 2 years ago

Quit buying crapsman when they quit making them in USA, picked up there chinese wrenches and looked at how cheap they looked and put them back.

#39 2 years ago

I love my crafty man tools,
but I dig kobalt some too.

#40 2 years ago

I still buy craftsman tools. You sign up for their "rewards" program and they email you free points like $7 off $20 purchase on tools once every week or so. You can just buy online and they email you the receipt and you go to their pick up area and scan your receipt and someone brings your purchase in minutes. I mean like 3 minutes you are in and out. It's great. They will even bring it out to your car.

#41 2 years ago

Tool quality across the board has gone down from all companies.
I have a top and bottom box full of Snap On tools.
The ones that I bought 20 years ago are still going strong, the newer ones break in 6 months.
Snap On's newest trick is to discontinue a tool so they no longer have to replace it for free, they make you buy the upgraded tool.

#42 2 years ago

I've had good luck over the past 10 years with Bosch tools. My Bosch washing machine has been rock solid.

#43 2 years ago

I have Craftsman hand tools socket sets wrenches screwdrivers and tool boxes. All bought in the early 80s and still going strong. I have replaced a few screwdrivers and 1/4 and 5/16 nutdrivers over the years. But for the most part they have given me great service over the years. I cannot compare thier newer import stuff as I haven't had to buy or replace the original tools.

#44 2 years ago

I have quite a few USA made craftsman wrenches that I find at yard sales. We had a guy at the swap meet that sold USA craftsman. While most of us probably will never use our Chinese made tools enough to break them, I just like the thought of buying US even if it cost a little more. Don't know of many tool companies left in USA. I thought I heard that Snap On even left. I know some snap on that I got at Costco was made in new China. Maybe vice grips and Proto?

#45 2 years ago
Quoted from GotAQuestion:

I did a lot of research on Sears during the course of my MBA. They're not selling brands off to save anyone or anything. Their CEO is a strong believer in Randian economics and has let several once-profitable divisions die off to the "invisible hand of the market" while providing no leadership.
The base of his theory is, those divisions which perform well deserve the internal funding. Those that need help should have helped themselves. Basically survival of the fittest, but that's not a way to boost employee morale.
So anyway, if you trace his decisions since being instated he's just sold off division after division in the most personally profitable way. He's not trying to save Craftsman. He's trying to make the most he can for himself before using his golden parachute.

Yes - their CEO was also I believe a hedge fund manager or something similar who had no retail experience before he took over. He was on record as saying that buying Sears was a no-lose situation since he could part it out and sell off the assets for more than he paid for the company.

It's sad - I actually liked and still do like some aspects of the Sears model, and while retail has definitely changed, I think there is a spot in the market for a place like Sears... it's just that Sears has slowly taken away all reason for it to be them in the past few years

It's sad. I'll miss Sears. Just bought a dishwasher through them for a great deal.

#46 2 years ago

Speaking of Sears & Craftsman and Ward's & Powr Kraft; Does anyone here remember when the Brennan Brothers ran both Sears & Ward's at the same time in the '90's?

Bernie with Ward's as he appeared in the teevee commercials and older brother Ed ran Sears, but did not appear in commercials.

Edward Brennan died over nine years ago but Bernie is alive and well in Florida these days.

#47 2 years ago

I started out working for Sears after high school in the auto center and then moving into the main store as maintenance. Getting a 40% discount on all hand tools while I worked in the auto center was a great thing.

We've always had Craftsman tools in the shop on our farm, some of them we have my Grandfather purchased many years ago. Original Craftsman tools were nearly indestructible unless you went to some extremes. But over the past 20 some years, they redesigned/changed how most of their tools were manufactured and they just plain didn't last like they used to. Ratchets especially were a joke, we traded in one that was 20-some years old that we just wore out and the replacement blew out the casing a few months later.

Dependable tools with a lifetime warranty. That's what Charstman hand tools were known for. (Their power tools never had a lifetime warranty). Nowadays, you can get pretty decent tools from Harbor Freight for a good price. Sure, some items HF sells are just cheap and won't last like something from Snapon or Matco, but for the premium price those items cost, it's cheaper in the long run to get the HF items.

#48 2 years ago
Quoted from pinball_faz:

AND you could order anything. Including livestock.
My favorite Spiegel Warehouse story was a return from a unhappy customer... they ordered a Monkey... A LIVE MONKEY... but what showed up was not... poor monkey.
faz

And complete houses in kit form.

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