The Home Depot (THD) and Klein Tools recently announced Home Depot to be the exclusive home improvement retailer of Klein’s hand-held tools.
Under the agreement, “…Home Depot will offer Klein’s complete line of durable, high-quality electrical tools and will be the sole home improvement retailer of all existing and future product lines.”
This explains why Lowes reduced their prices on all Klein tools several months ago, and why no Klein tools remain on the shelves.
We suspect that this agreement will not affect online stores, or retail stores that are not categorized as “home improvement” stores. Because of this, Home Depot may still have competiton, which will hopefully help keep prices low and reasonable.
The implication that Lowes can no longer carry Klein tools is somewhat of a dispapointment – we like shopping at Lowes, especially since it’s closer than the nearest Home Depot. However, that Home Depot will now carry the complete line of Klein hand tools definitely more than makes up for that.
Home Depot’s newly deepened Klein selection absolutely thrills us, mostly because we endured terrible frustration when searching for small gauge “Klein Kurve” wire strippers. After browsing in and calling most of the stores in the county, we still could not find the Klein strippers that we wanted. In the end, we purchased the Craftsman-equivalent version at Sears.
Then there are also the Klein Journeyman screwdrivers that we’ve been eager to try. After hearing about these new drivers, we would check for them, always without successm any time we found ourselves at Home Depot or Lowes.
There are definitely potential downsides to this new exclusivity agreement that may affect consumers. However, the availability of Klein’s complete hand-tool product line at Home Depot is a very, very good thing.
We’re eager to hear what you think about this, so please feel free to leave a comment about your thoughts or experiences.
Edit: It looks like Sears may be clearing their stocks of Klein tools as well. We used the online in-store inventory search for 6 products that we know our local Sears had previously carried, but it appears that they are no longer available in store.