Craftsman event highlights new products


New York Product innovations from the private-label Sears Holdings brand Craftsman took center stage at an event in New York City Thursday. The event was described as an 80th anniversary celebration for the Craftsman brand and focused on the categories of lawn and garden, garage and workshop.

Among the highlights:

  • Apush mower with 360-degree zero-turning-radius for easy steering;
  • A trailer that folds to fit through a standard door or gate frame;
  • A utility knife with a cartridge that automatically loads 20 blades; and
  • Digital LaserTrac levels with displays that read the angle of the tool to 0.1 degrees.

Craftsman took to a famous New York stage — NBC’s Studio 8H, home of the television show “Saturday Night Live” — to unveil the new product trends. Eric Stromer, host of HGTV’s “Over Your Head” led a discussion of the product innovations.

In September of last year, the Craftsman brand entered Kmart stores, following the merger of Sears and Kmart under the Sears Holdings Corp. umbrella. The mixed use of the brand remains a work in progress, according to Jim Recore, a merchandise manager of hand tools, compressors, tool storage and industrial for Sears Holdings. “We’re still learning every day,” he said, about Craftsman in Kmart. “Thus far, it’s about convenience” for the consumer. Kmart still carries a more limited assortment of tools, he added.


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How much credit should be given to the co-op business model for the success of the independent hardware and building supply dealer over the last half century?