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Stanley Black & Decker CEO: 'Things are going great with Craftsman'

Brian Sozzi
Editor-at-Large

Sears who?

Despite Sears emerging from bankruptcy earlier this year with hundreds of stores still selling its trademark Craftsman tools, the CEO of the brand’s new owner Stanley Black & Decker Inc. (SWK) said it hasn’t had an impact.

“Things are going great with Craftsman, we couldn’t be more excited,” Stanley Black & Decker CEO James Loree said on Yahoo Finance The First Trade. “We are selling the tools like hotcakes.” Loree said the products are better quality than before when they were under Sears’ stewardship.

“We are revitalizing the Craftsman brand and opening it up to distribution across the United States — it’s a very exciting program, it’s going to be a big win for us from a revenue point of view,” he said.

That’s probably reassuring for Stanley Black & Decker investors to hear.

Stanley Black & Decker acquired the Craftsman brand from the struggling Sears for a total consideration of $900 million in January 2017. Stanley Black & Decker paid Sears $525 million in cash when the deal closed in March 2017. The deal was structured so that a $250 million slug would be paid three years after the deal's closure. Stanley also agreed to annual payments on new Stanley Black & Decker Craftsman sales through year 15 of the deal closing.

The company quickly unveiled 1,200 redesigned tools in August 2018. They are mostly being sold at Lowe’s and Amazon. Loree told me at the time he would like 70% of the Craftsman line made in the U.S. longer-term, up from about 40% currently.

Some on Wall Street put the Craftsman business at a $1 billion sales opportunity for Stanley Black & Decker.

Sears and Stanley got into a dust-up in March over the brand. Stanley has sued Sears in Manhattan federal court because of its marketing that claims it’s the “real home” of the Craftsman brand. Sears also went so far as to introduce the Craftsman Ultimate Collection, a competing product, which Stanley said Sears didn’t get approved from them to release.

Sears is still selling the Craftsman Ultimate collection online.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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