Kmart Looks to Build Business with Power Tools
Ever since Kmart and Sears agreed to merge back in November 2004, one of the projected benefits of the deal was thought to be that popular exclusive brands such as Crafstman, Kenmore, Diehard, Martha Stewart Everyday and Joe Boxer would be made available to shoppers at both companies’ stores.
While there has been some migration of Sears’ brands to Kmart (none vice versa), it has been limited in scope. That, however, may be about to change with the announcement yesterday that Craftsman tools will be sold in nearly all the 1,400 stores operated by Kmart in the U.S.
Before now, Craftsman products were sold in 120 Kmarts in 2005. The chain expanded the test with sales of the brand during the 2006 Father’s Day season.
“We took the concept of selling Craftsman products into select Kmart stores this spring to gauge customers’ reactions,” said Greg Inwood, vice president of tools, hardware and paint at Sears Holdings Corp in a company press release. “Customer response exceeded our expectations.”
According to Mr. Inwood, consumers appreciated “the added convenience of buying Craftsman tools at additional locations and we feel that providing Craftsman products in all Kmart stores will allow our customers to shop for the tools they love while picking up items for their everyday needs.”
The number of Craftsman tools will vary by location, according to Kmart, based on the store. Recently remodeled Kmarts will carry more than 1,800 Craftsman items while others may have as few as 500 SKUs.
“We see this as a tremendous opportunity to enhance Kmart’s tool and automotive departments. Craftsman products have been used by generations of Americans and by delivering a sizable selection of high quality, durable Craftsman tools and merchandise we really feel we can deliver more great products to our customers,” said Bill Stewart, chief marketing officer at Kmart.
Discussion Questions: What will Craftsman mean for Kmart’s business now that the brand will be sold in almost all the chain’s stores? What is your reaction
to Greg Inwood’s statement that “providing Craftsman products in all Kmart stores will allow our customers to shop for the tools they love while picking up items for their everyday
Craftsman, Kmart reminds us in its press release, is:
- America’s number one tool brand;
- The official tool brand of NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car and Auto Racing);
- The primary sponsor of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
- Attention Kmart Shoppers: Craftsman – The Number One Tool Brand – is Now Available at Kmart Stores Nationwide – Kmart/PRNewswire-FirstCall