Searching for a Silver Lining, It's More Trouble As Stanley Black & Decker Sues Sears News & Opinion

Stanley Black & Decker Sues Sears Over Breach of Contract

Searching for a Silver Lining, It’s More Trouble As Stanley Black & Decker Sues Sears

We’re less than two years from Stanley Black & Decker’s purchase of Craftsman from Sears. And as Sears is emerging from bankruptcy proceedings, it’s facing a breach of contract lawsuit over it.

10-Second Summary

  • Craftsman Ultimate Collection is at the heart of the lawsuit
  • Stanley Black & Decker bought Craftsman from Sears in 2017 for $900 million
  • Sears is allowed to sell a limited Craftsman line under the deal
  • The lawsuit claims Sears breached the terms of the licensing agreement and threatens to irreparably harm SBD’s Craftsman brand


When it Rains…

When Stanley Black & Decker paid $900 million for the Craftsman brand back in 2017, part of the deal allowed Sears to continue selling a limited line of Craftsman tools. Last year, SBD rolled out the new Craftsman with an impressive number of products from lawn care and DIY to automotive and construction.

Apparently, the heart of the matter is the definition of “a limited line” as Sears rolls out their Craftsman Ultimate Collection. Using catch phrases like, “the real home of the broadest assortment of Craftsman” makes it sound like there’s some underlying competition between the two. SBD claims it gives the impression that their tools are “somehow illegitimate.”

Honestly, I don’t blame SBD one bit for taking issue with their marketing.

This lawsuit follows just a month after Sears worked through its bankruptcy proceedings to be purchased by former Sears CEO Eddie Lampert for $5.2 billion. That might just spur the biggest case of buyer’s remorse in recent history.

Lampert was at the helm during Sears well-documented march into bankruptcy and the future of the emergent Sears isn’t looking much better.


So What?

There really wasn’t any need to declare one side or the other as “The Real Craftsman” but somehow, that sounds like what this is about. I get it that Lampert has a multi-billion dollar investment on the line, but risking the breach of such a well-publicized contract doesn’t make much sense. Was it ignorance or maliciousness?

Regardless of where the fallout takes us, keep in mind that Stanley Black & Decker made a legitimate purchase of the Craftsman brand. What they’ve done so far to get the brand in front of consumers with products that are genuinely useful is impressive. If anything, I expect this is just another wheezing cough in the slow death of Sears.

For the sake of the employees of Sears and the families that rely on their income, I hope that’s not the case.


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Rick OwenMattBob MontgomeryMichael HiblerAle Vin Recent comment authors
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Rick Owen
Rick Owen

Looks like Lambert is determined to destroy Sears. You can’t denigrate a product name then expect that because you’re selling it that consumers will think your offerings are better. I hope SBD takes complete control of the Craftsman brand. I feel terrible for Sears employees.

Bob Montgomery
Looks like all craftsman tools are made in China now so you might as well go to Harbor Freight!

Michael Hibler

The biggest problem is the warranty. Ace, Lowe’s and who else sales Craftsman make it harder to return. Some even said take it back to Sears . If they sale it they should also stand behind them since SBD owns them now

Ale Vin

Son los mismos norteamericanos que con tendencias de moda destruyen lo creado para volverse mas holgazanes y mas baratos. Cuando un producto es hecho en USA es por que es hecho por generaciones de familias que han trabajado en las fabricas por siempre, pero muchas veces la ambición y la falta de planeación hace de sus productos una porquería, tanto que ni los mismos estadounidenses compran las marcas. Los productos con sus fabricaciones globales rompen y destruyen vínculos familiares de generaciones con las empresas para luego convertirlas en maquiladoras americanas con sueldos de hambre y degradando la calidad de lo… Read more »


Sears and Lowe’s are different look at the color of the tool boxes They at a different color