Re: Craftsman tools to get new owners?
I worked at a Sears, circa 1999-2000. Part time college job, I went in and said I only wanted to work in the hardware department.
First is that Sears in the way that all of us know it is an anachronism of a retail world gone by. Think 1940, 1960 or maybe even 1980: You bought practically everything at a place like Sears. Clothes, shoes, drapes, tools,washing machines, etc. Heck, Sears sold cars and houses at one point! That's inconceivable now.
Now look at today's marketplace: Much more specialized, more boutique like. You buy cheap jeans at Old Navy, better jeans somewhere else, appliances from Best Buy, drapes from an online vendor like Amazon or Bed, Bath and Beyond, etc. You download all your music, I bought my last suit at Suit Supply, etc. Even without the internet, the old school "we sell everything" retail goliath was doomed and the internet just finished the job.
Second is/was their atrocious management and part of that is just big business' short sighted viewpoint in general. When I worked there (obviously at a very low level, not like I was in the C-suite privvy to the planning convos), they always struck me as a company that just didn't know what to do about the changing marketplace. They just seemed like a bunch of clueless old dudes who couldn't grasp how much the market had changed. They also had a lot of disdain for their customer: it was a lot more important for a person to be greeted 25 times as they walked through the store, as opposed to sales people that actually knew anything about anything. It never felt lie they had a 5 year plan............... it always felt like they were going to cut our hours even more, so this quarters numbers would be slightly better and they could get slightly better bonuses and they'd worry about the next quarter next week.
Had it been me in 1999, I would have done what they're doing now, except maybe twenty years ago it might have been early enough to save the brands.
Now, in everyone's drive to be the best Harbor Freight, they've made Craftsman into Crapsman and no one will care about anyway. Lets face it, all the Crapsman buyers have either moved downmarket into HF/Kobalt/whatever or they've moved upmarket into Snap-On, etc. I have a ton of old Craftsman and as it dies it gets replaced with Snap-on. It sucks, but what are you going to do?
1968 Chevelle Malibu 307/M20
1967 Kaiser-Jeep M35A2
1968 Baifield M274A5
1987 AM General M35A2C
1987 Turtle Mountain M105A2