big box Sears

Craftsman: Made in the USA – Manufactured in China?

\"CraftsmanA little more than a year after a judge threw out a class-action lawsuit asserting that troubled retailer Sears knowingly led customers to believe their iconic Private Brand Craftsman Tools are still Made in the USA, the retailer continues to face public outcry.

Part of the mystique of the Craftsman brand was that the hand tools were proudly Made in the USA. But in recent years, Craftsman, like many tool brands, started manufacturing many of their products in China while continuing to run advertising that would lead customers to believe all the tools were still domestically produced.

Since 1927, Craftsman has built its brand on a credibility and reliability that was brought to life in its now legendary lifetime guarantee: if a hand tool breaks, just bring it back to the store for an immediate replacement. The problem? Made in the USA Craftsman brand loyalists are disappointed with what they feel is a violation of the brand promise. They simply do not want to replace their broken USA manufactured tool with one from China because they suffer from the not unfounded fear that the quality will be substandard to what they expect with the Craftsman name. They also resent the fact that the prices haven\’t dropped to reflect international sourcing.

This is a great example of a brand promise becoming diluted and true brand loyalists rejecting the change. Yes the Brand Manager, Product Managers and Merchants at Sears should own this brand but they must never forget that the promise, which began 86 years ago, is bigger than them and owned by generations of believers. Betray your believers and destroy the brand.

Several people were so upset by the change that they started petitions on asking Sears to stop producing the tools overseas. As of today, one petition has over 4,000 signatures.

The petition started by Tim Godsil of Galesburg, United States reads:

Sears: Stop the outsourcing of Craftsman Hand Tools
Craftsman tools have been around over 85 years. My Grandparents used them, my parents used them, and I have used them. People use Craftsman because of their value, and more importantly, being made here in America. Recently, the top brass at Sears had decided to outsource the manufacturing of Craftsman hand tools to places like China and Taiwan. The sockets, ratchets, wrenches and other hand tools you buy are now being made overseas. The quality is nowhere near as good as the USA made stuff. Many of us feel that outsourcing further injures our economy. Many corporations have outsourced, and now look at what shape we are in. Many people are no longer purchasing Craftsman hand tools due this outsourcing. Sears, we ask you to quit outsourcing Craftsman hand tools, and ensure they will be continued to be made in USA for many generations to enjoy.

big box Sears

Sears Introduces AAFA Certified Kenmore Intuition Upright Vacuum

\"\"Hoffman Estates, Illinois based retailer Sears has released a new study founded by their iconic appliance Private Brand Kenmore. The survey found nearly half of Americans (49%) say that when it comes to vacuuming they cut corners by skipping areas underneath or behind furniture. Some clean only when they see visible dirt on the floor. That means they might be missing the 100,000 dust mites on the average square yard of carpet. With fall allergy season upon us and holidays just around the corner, renowned home keeping expert and author of The Accidental Housewife Julie Edelman says now is the perfect time to bring these dirty secrets out into the light of day and tackle dirt and dust in our homes.

Edelman suggests that when it comes to keeping your home clean it really starts at the ground floor. According to the Kenmore survey, 50% of Americans occasionally or never take off their shoes before entering the house. To combat dust, dirt and allergens from being tracked through the house, create a no shoes rule in your home and place a mat at all entryways. Also, use a vacuum certified \”asthma and allergy friendly\” by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). The survey conveniently supports the introduction by Sears and Kenmore of the first vacuum to receive this AAFA recognition, the Kenmore Intuition Upright Vacuum uses both bags and filters that are HEPA certified to assist with better air quality. HEPA cloth bags capture 99.97% of all dirt, dust and allergens to meet the HEPA standard.

\”I\’m all about making housework a pleasant experience but it seems most of today\’s vacuums care more about looks versus getting the job done,\” said Edelman. \”Having clean floors not only looks great, but it also prevents the spread of dust mites that cause allergies. Selecting the right vacuum can lead to a healthier, cleaner home, and give you more time to do the activities you enjoy, rather than doing chores.\”

The latest data indicates upright vacuums are most popular – they\’re found in 67% of American homes. 45% of those upright vacuums are bagless; however, bagged vacuums have major advantages. For instance, when bagless dust containers are emptied into the trash they cause dirt, dust and allergens to escape into the air, and ultimately back on the floor you\’ve just cleaned. In addition, bagged vacuums typically cost a few hundred dollars less than bagless vacuums that may offer less power.

Entertaining guests and the changing seasons drive cleaning regimens. A quarter of Americans describe their cleaning style as minimalist, only cleaning for company or seasonally in the spring or around holidays. However, when it comes to cleaning floors, vacuuming should be done once a week with a powerful vacuum. More power, at least 200 airwatts, means more airflow and ultimately greater suction. Also opt for vacuums with a motorized agitating head.

\”Kenmore vacuums are all about being tough on dirt whether through a powerful motorized head, HEPA certified bags and filters, or simply keeping dirt in a bag during dust disposal,\” said Michael Castleman, president, Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard and SVP Sears Holdings. \”We\’re offering powerful and efficient cleaning solutions so our customers have optimal home experiences. In other words, we\’re treating dirt like dirt.\”

Product highlights for the Kenmore Intuition Upright Vacuum include:

  • 3D inducer motor is the most powerful Kenmore vacuum motor with 20 percent more air power than other Kenmore models
  • Beltless Direct Drive three motor provides superb cleaning performance, while eliminating the need to purchase replacement belts, which saves you money
  • Electronic dirt sensor alerts you to the dirt you can\’t see
  • Power-flow dual-chamber bag system sustains the vacuum\’s performance as the bag fills with dirt
  • HEPA filtration not only captures 99.97% of all particles down to 0.3 microns in size but also cleans exhaust air

Additional Kenmore Survey Findings:

  •  Nearly half of Americans (49%) say they cut corners by skipping areas underneath or behind furniture and clean only when they see visible dirt on the floor. Actually, more women (36%) report cutting corners than men (29%).
  •  One in 10 Americans says it takes an expected guest to prompt them to vacuum.
  • The older you are, the more likely your kitchen floor is the dirtiest floor in your house. As age increases, so too does the percentage of Americans who report that their kitchen floor is the dirtiest in the house (41% of 18-34 year olds vs. 53% of 55+).
  •  One-third of women age 18-54 say every day is cleaning day, while half of women 35 and older call themselves weekly cleaning warriors.
  • More than a quarter of Americans dislike emptying a bagless vacuum dust canister.

Methodology: The Russell Omnibus was conducted online from September 21 – September 24, 2012 among 1,029 online adults across the United States. Figures for gender, age, and geography were weighted where necessary to match their actual proportions in the population.

big box Sears

Craftsman Partners With Wonder Woman, Superman and The Flash

\"\"Private Brand is taking a giant comic book leap forward with the first-ever print comic book crossover between DC Entertainment and iconic Sears Private Brand Craftsman — “Craftsman Bolt-On System Saves the Justice League.” The story includes some of the great superheros: Wonder Woman, Superman and The Flash. The book online at beginning October 1.

According to a article in Forbes magazine:

This unlikely collaboration introduces the new character, The Technician. The story has The Technician facing off against a villain called The Key, who’s out to steal records from The Hall of Justice while the Justice League is away. The Bolt-On product is woven into the comic book story seamlessly, while the story shows a behind-the-scenes look at what happens away from all of the epic battles.

Hank Kanalz, SVP of digital, DC Entertainment, said The Technician came about through a brainstorming session that explored what happens when something mechanical goes wrong in the DC Universe. After all, the Dark Knight isn’t going to change the oil in the Batmobile and Wonder Woman isn’t going to repair the Invisible Jet after a flight. And just who’s in charge of keeping the alarm system up to par at The Hall of Justice?

“This is as much about reaching a new audience of comic book fans as it is about constantly trying to find new ways to educate and engage our audience,” said Michael Castleman, president, Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, SVP, Sears Holdings. “With the Bolt-On product, there’s a utility belt nature to it. When we were brainstorming with DC, it was something that we all felt that a super hero would wear.”

This partnership is more than having a large Craftsman booth at NYCC, which will include a live-action project build of The Technician’s headquarters using the Bolt-On tool. The collaborators are taking the DIY approach with the comic, as well. Through November 30, 2012, fans can upload their own ideas for the plot of The Technician’s next adventure on

“We’re opening up this engagement initiative where fans can submit a drawing and synopsis and we’re rewarding them with a trip to New York Comic-Con 2013,” said Ryan Ostrom, CMO of Craftsman & Div. Vice President of Digital Marketing/eCommerce KCD Brands at Sears Holding Company. “What’s submitted by fans around The Technician will ultimately be brought to life in the future. The best idea will be used in a future comic book adventure.”

Read the entire article


Sears Selects Duke as Craftsman Tool Catalog Spokesperson

\"\"Sears and their Private brand Craftsman have selected Chris Duke, host of Motorz, as the exclusive automotive tool spokesperson and advisor for all Sears automotive print and online catalogs. The decision was announced this month as part of a growing relationship between the two companies. Duke is a respected television personality, producer and 13-year automotive industry veteran.

“Being selected as the spokesperson for the best selling and most widely used tool brand in the world is truly an honor,” stated Chris Duke, Executive Producer and host of Motorz. “We use Craftsman tools in every episode of the show, and it’s great for us to be able to show our viewers exactly what tool to use at each stage of the process, and why. I look forward to representing the Sears and Craftsman brands in this important role.”

Motorz, now completing its fifth season, is a automotive improvement series produced in a home garage environment showing viewers how to properly maintain a vehicle and install aftermarket accessories with step-by-step instructions in an entertaining “you can do it, too” format. Each episode reviews detailed instructions including recommended tools and supplies and important safety instructions. The show includes a special Partz Segment showcasing some of the latest accessories available, and a Letterz segment featuring viewer questions and comments, and production bloopers.


Sears & Kenmore Deliver Appliance Innovations

\"\"Sears iconic appliance Private Brand Kenmore is launching its news appliance complete with innovations led by enhanced cooking versatility, refrigerator accessibility, and increased laundry cycle speeds.

These innovations will be touted at a private reception co-hosted by Food Network personality Jeff Mauro, winner of last season\’s The Food Network Star and host of Sandwich King, at the recently opened Kenmore Craftsman Brand Live Experience in Chicago.  \”For professional chefs like me, time saved is worth its weight in gold,\” said Mauro. \”With high-performance cooking and easy access and more space in the refrigerator, the Kenmore brand\’s kitchen appliances deliver capacity, flexibility and convenience for home chefs.\”

\”We are thrilled to introduce our advanced appliance offerings today,\” said Michael Castleman, president, Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard.  \”Innovation is a cornerstone for all Kenmore appliances and the products we\’re highlighting here deliver uncompromised capacity and access in the kitchen and shorter cycle times in the laundry room to ensure our customers have optimal home experiences.\”

More Cooking Versatility

The Kenmore Elite Electric Free Standing Double Oven and new Slide-In Ranges offer greater cooking versatility as both models offer dual ovens with equal 3.5 cubic foot capacity. Main dishes, such as full-sized turkeys or hams, can cook concurrently in separate ovens and at different temperatures for greater flexibility.

With 7.0 cubic foot capacity and true convection, consumers can count on less cook time and more opportunities to enjoy their kitchen experience.  Each model delivers the benefit of true convection in both ovens to evenly bake and beautifully brown foods even when the oven is filled to capacity. Additionally, the new Turbo Boil FLEX™ element gives customers the ability to melt, warm, simmer and boil without moving the pot from element to element.

The Kenmore brand\’s new cooking products (97512/3/9) are available in stainless steel, white and black finishes at the regular prices of $1,999 and $1,899, respectively. The electric slide in range (41112/3/9) option will be available later this year in stainless steel, white and black at regular prices ranging from $2,499 to $2,599.

Greater Access in Refrigeration
Timesavings are within reach with the expanded Kenmore Signature refrigeration line which boasts significant refrigeration capacity.  The line today expanded its offering with the introduction of the Kenmore Elite Grab-N-Go Refrigerator. This model matches the Signature line\’s capacity of 31 cubic feet while keeping users\’ most-often-used items such as snacks, drinks and leftovers, within reach.  This unique, separate compartment is accessed with a simple push of a button, removing the need to open both French doors and providing convenience at consumers\’ fingertips.

Offering a sleek look, this model also boasts a slim, in-door icemaker and two exclusive slide-away shelves.  Together, these features provide more organization options and flexibility for kitchen needs. The Kenmore Elite Grab-N-Go Refrigerator (72062/3/9) is available today for the regular price of $3,299.

More Efficient Washing in the Laundry Room

With more than 35% more speed, the Kenmore brand is now providing a solution to get clothes cleaner, faster, ultimately giving consumers more time to do the activities they prefer and not their chores.  The Kenmore Elite 4.0 cubic foot Front Load HE Steam Washer with Accela-Wash Technology uniquely combines speed, clothing care, capacity and efficiency without compromising cleaning performance. Time, water and energy savings are now readily available with this laundry option.

Accela-Wash technology combines two actions: Active Rinse and Active Spray, to clean full-size loads faster without sacrificing cleaning performance.  Active Rinse results in fast and efficient rinsing while Active Spray provides faster soaking times and deep cleaning.

In addition to the Accela-Wash technology, product highlights for increased savings include:

  • Express Wash rapidly washes a small load in 20 minutes
  • The Express Dry cycle quickly dries a small load in 25 minutes
  • In only 20 minutes, the Steam Refresh™ technology (dryer only) gently refreshes clothes by relaxing wrinkles and reducing odors, helping to eliminate a need for ironing or re-washing
  • Steam Treat technology virtually eliminates the need to pre-treat stains using the power of steam and removing an additional step in the cleaning process
  • Smart Motion Technology provides cycle selection with up to six unique wash motions for the right amount of cleaning and care
  • Large capacity (4.0 cubic foot washer, 7.4 cubic foot dryer) accommodates large loads of up to 45 extra-large adult t-shirts
  • The washer uses 70% less water and 65% less energy, saving about $135 per year
  • Kenmore Connect, a functionality that sends customers\’ real-time diagnostic information from the washer or dryer over the phone to highly-trained service experts who answer questions, suggest solutions, or provide instructions to help maintain proper upkeep

The washer and electric dryer (4147X washer, 8/9147X dryer) are available in white for regular prices of $1,099 per unit and $1,199 in metallic silver finishes. Gas dryers are slightly more expensive.

Each of these innovations joins the vast Kenmore brand selections for all home needs. Kenmore delivers timesavings, convenience, versatility and style to ensure families get the most out of their appliances.  To learn more about Kenmore small and large