Stanley Sues Sears over Craftsman

    Sears was sued on Wednesday, less than one month after the end of it’s from bankruptcy protection, by Stanley Black & Decker, which alleged that has both breached contract and infringed on its trademarks. The spat comes as a result of the retailer introducing a new line of professional-grade mechanics tools in the once iconic private brand Craftsman.  The Craftsman Ultimate Collection.

    In March 2017, Sears brokered a convoluted deal with Stanley in which it paid close to $900 while allowing Sears a “limited” license to sell some Craftsman products.

    But according to the complaint, Sears breached the license agreement by launching its new range and bragging that its stores are “the real home of the broadest assortment of Craftsman.”

    According to Stanley the tagline falsely implies that other Craftsman products are “somehow illegitimate.”

    It also said Sears’ actions threaten to confuse shoppers and irreparably harm Stanley’s own Craftsman brand and trademarks, as well as its goodwill and customer relationships.

    I have to wonder if the folks at Stanley are starting to regret this deal.  No to mention whether the team at Lowe’s Home Improvement are rethinking their decision to prioritize Craftsman over their own private brand Kobalt Tools.

    This may not end well for anyone.

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    Christopher Durham
    Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.