Postings and photographs on garagejournal.com have reported seeing Craftsman tool sets on sale at their local Menards stores. Sightings of a 104-piece Mechanics tool set selling for $99.95 in a Menards in Schererville, Ind., launched a discussion among tool aficionados about the price -- considered on the high side -- and how the tools ended up there in the first place.
Ace Hardware had announced an exclusive merchandising agreement allowing its dealers to sell Craftsman-branded tools in 2010, and the Oak Brook, Ill., buying group has been rolling out the program this year to hundreds of member stores. Ace did not answer a request for comment from Home Channel News on the Craftsman tools showing up at Menards.
The co-op has responded to concerns from its dealers, however. In a copy of an Ace Hardware memo obtained by Home Channel News, Ace merchants told members that the Craftsman tools at Menards were “overstock Craftsman inventory” and a one-time event. Ace members were assured that the $2 million buy was isolated to a limited number of SKUS.
“Sears’ EVP has given us clear assurances that this is NOT an on-going event or the beginning of a program with Menards,” the memo stated.