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Ace Hardware to stock Craftsman tools

Published: 22 February 2010
Sears Holdings turns to outside help to grow sales of the popular tool brand, as department stores struggle to sell the range.
US-based retail group Sears Holdings has signed an agreement with Ace Hardware to sell its Craftsman range of hand tools, power tools and tool storage through the Ace chain of stores. According to a report by Dow Jones, the deal will see 10% of the total Craftsman line in 100 Ace stores by May this year.

The latest move ends months of speculation that Sears, the fourth largest retail group in the US, may consider turning to an outside home improvement chain to sell the Craftsman range, as sales at its department stores have continued to struggle.

By June, retailer-owned cooperative Ace Hardware plans to roll out the 83-year old tool brand to all 4,400 of its stores.

Ace Hardware reported a net income of $95.7 million for its 2009 fiscal year - up 11.5% on its 2008 figures.

Sears Holdings interim ceo and president Bruce Johnson commented: "This is an exciting, strategic move that expands access to Craftsman for existing and new customers. Offering an assortment of Craftsman products more broadly through Ace locations will strengthen the Craftsman brand, which already has an incredible reputation."

Craftsman was named firm favourite in magazine reader polls and market research in the US last year.

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