Stanley shows off its tool chest
New York City — Product managers at Stanley Black & Decker played an elaborate game of show and tell Thursday in a Manhattan conference room.
One of the messages from the company’s New Product Media Luncheon held Thursday at the Westin New York at Times Square was that the tool industry is not standing still. Stanley Black & Decker VP Chris Dutra explained competition is alive in the well in the tool business. He pointed to some recent moves at competitors — such as the introduction of Craftsman tools at Ace Hardware stores and Milwaukee Electric Co.’s expansion into hand tools. Then he stepped aside as product managers from Stanley brands including DeWalt, Bostitch and Porter-Cable took the stage to demonstrate some of the highlights of the company’s R&D investment.
Among the trends from its latest display of new product development are compact compressors, cordless nailers and a movement into paint sundries.
Stanley’s entry into paint and sundries was informed by research that showed 40 million people are in the buying cycle of painting-related projects at any given time, and that Stanley had a healthy "brand halo" in this area, according to strategic business unit leader Stephen Skeels. The company’s launch of paint sundries includes putty knives, scrapers, drywall tools and caulk guns.
Other product introductions from the event:
• Porter-Cable’s new four-gallon compressor was an example of the movement toward compact designs with no loss of performance. The 29-pound pancake compressor packs more usable air than previous modes, and supports up to three nailers. It will retail fro about $199.
• At Bostitch, one story was the what it called the world’s first cordless 28-degree wire weld framing nailer kit. The gas-powered tool sells for about $349.
• One of the highlights from DeWalt was an air compressor line splitter described as the heavy duty Quadraport Regulated Line Splitter (suggested retail price of $59). The durable quadraport brings flexibility to multiple users of a single air compressor.
• A new Stanley subby multibit screwdriver comes it a ratcheting, or non-ratcheting version, both under $5.
Sears offers Vets their own store
Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears is offering military veterans a chance to own their own Sears Hometown Store through their Operation Stores and Stripes contest.
The contest, which is sponsored in part by Maytag Appliances, will supply the winner with their very own Sears Hometown Store location and license, merchandise, renovation, the first 90-days of the lease as well as 90 days of operating cash flow up to $130,000.
But Sears isn’t handing over keys to a brand new store to just anyone who’s ever worn a uniform, the contest includes a strict vetting process to asses applicants retail experience as well as their financial stability. To even apply, applicants must meet certain requirements aside from being military veterans such as have a minimum of $100,000 net worth, $10,000 of which must be liquid.
The company also laid out what qualities they’re looking for in their potential winner on their website. The contestants will be rated on five key elements according to the contest rules: applicants ability to be capable of running a successful store/business taking into account past retail experience and financial literacy (35%), customer focused individual (10%), overall character (10%), appropriately representing the Sears brand (10%), financially sound (35%)
"We are thrilled with the response from our hometown heroes to the contest thus far," said Will Powell, senior vice president, Sears Holdings and president, Hometown Stores. "We hope that in these final days of the contest even more of our nation’s service men and women submit their application at www.searshometownstores.com/veteran. We look forward to adding another deserving military veteran to the Sears Hometown Stores family."
Qualifying military veterans have until June 25 to log onto www.searshometownstores.com/veteran to apply. Contest winners will be posted on the website September 30. The contest has been running since May.
True Value corporate store appeals to women
Chicago-based hardware co-op True Value Co. opened its first-ever corporate store.
According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, the Mount Prospect, Ill., location embraces the retail principals promoted through the company’s Destination True Value retail program. Those include female-friendliness, wide aisles and bright overhead lights.
True Value CEO Lyle Heidemann, according to the report, described the co-op’s first corporate store as a “lab for us.”