Sears Extends DieHard Into Gas Powered OPE – Battery Anyone?

Following its emergence from bankruptcy, Sear’s is continuing to pillage its once iconic brands with the expansion of its DieHard battery private brand into outdoor power equipment. The news was announced by the retailer at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas where it said that it has partnered in an agreement with Chinese manufacturer YAT.

The lawn and garden products will include four-cycle gas, battery, and corded products, including trimmers, blowers, and chainsaws that will premier in fall of 2019.

“The DieHard brand is one of the most storied and trusted American legacy brands and is woven into our American lifestyle,” Peter Boutros, president of the Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands and chief brand officer for Sears and Kmart said. “For more than 50 years, Americans have powered their vehicles with DieHard. Now they will be able to rely on DieHard for their lawn and garden equipment, as well.”

The brand extension is bewildering, putting Diehard in direct competition with the iconic tool private brand Craftsman, which it sold to Stanley Black & Decker in 2017. However, Sears still receives annual payments on the brand for 15 years after the transaction and maintains the right to sell Craftsman in its own stores.

Diehard in tools is an awkward extension at best. Diehard in gas-powered outdoor power equipment is a brand positioning disconnect of epic proportions.

The extension of Diehard into tools feels like a last desperate attempt to squeeze blood out to the brand.

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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.