In a bid to expand its product lines beyond its physical stores, Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD) has been making deals to sell its products in a variety of different outlets, with the latest being a deal to sell its Craftsman Tools in in Ace Hardware stores across the U.S.
Just last week Sears announced it was going to allow its DieHard products to be sold at other retailers, while also recently saying it would franchise out its auto center business to car dealerships, a slew of major moves in an attempt to stem the losses at the company.
Temporary CEO and president of Sears, Bruce Johnson, said that all of the Ace stores will be selling a limited number of its products by June, and the initiative will roll out at about 100 Ace locations by May to start with.
Along with the ubiquitous hand tools of Sears, other products to be sold at Ace Hardware include tool storage units, compressors, portable power tools and wet-dry vacuums.
This is interesting on the tool side, as Ace Hardware has had a solid set of hand tool products for years with lifetime warranties, showing they were high quality. It seems the Craftsman brand is considered a much more popular brand; evidently the reason Ace entered into the agreement, although the benefits of the higher-end products were just as important for Ace as well.
With Sears locked into many long term mall contracts, and mall traffic on the decline, this is obviously a move to move their best brands to other locations with higher sales potential.
I would think they'll try this for a year or so to see the results from the various deals. Depending on how well they do, we will probably see many more in the future with other products and through a variety of retail outlets.
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