There are a few updated details about the new partnership between Sears, Craftsman, and Ace Hardware that we thought you would find interesting. That, and we cannot keep our thoughts about this to ourselves for any longer.
First, the ~100 Ace stores included in the phase one trial will be able to sell pretty much any Craftsman products, including hand tools, portable power tools, compressors, wet/dry vacs, and tool storage.
Second, a recent press release specifically stats that, as part of this new alliance, all 4500 Ace stores will have the opportunity to offer Craftsman products to customers during the June Fathers Day shopping season. We wonder what this will ultimately mean, and who is to be the deciding party – Sears/Craftsman, Ace Hardware, or individual store managers?
In any case, while surprising, this is not exactly unexpected. Our suspicion first began when we noticed that the 2009 holiday shopping catalog was marketed as a Sears tool catalog featuring Craftsman tools. Then, we spotted Craftsman tools being sold by Amazon directly. Lastly, we’ve noticed a rather subtle but strong differention between the new Sears Blue Tools Crew and Craftsman.
Do we like the Sears Blue Tools Crew? YES! Although we have a love-hate relationship with Sears, without the Sears Blue Tools Crew and their unique and sometimes exotic product offerings, the “love” would have been dropped ages ago.
Of course, we’re also huge fans of Craftsman tools, and imagine that 4500 potential new retail locations could only benefit consumers and all respective corporate parties.
We’re very excited to see how this turns out. Please feel free to chime in with your own thoughts on the matter via comments.