Speaking to Ace Hardware dealers at the co-op's 2011 Fall Convention & Exhibits in Denver, Ace's John Surane clarified Ace's agreement with Sears regarding Craftsman and exclusivity.
"Our agreement gives Ace the exclusive rights to sell the craftsman brand in the convenience hardware channel until the year 2015," Surane told dealers during the General Session in Denver. He added the deal does not prohibit Sears, which owns the Craftsman brand, from selling to big-box retailers or the mass merchants.
The clarification followed news that Craftsman was being sold at retailers outside of Sears and Ace.
Surane, senior VP consumer marketing, merchandising and paint, described the Craftsman program as one of the most important ingredients to boost business and a clear differentiator for Ace stores.
"Ace has the widest most complete Craftsman offering outside the Sears stores in the market today," he said. "We cannot guarantee or dictate what happens with this or any other national brand in the future. However, what we can do is take full advantage of the exclusivity we enjoy today, and the differentiation that we have today."