For the last 10 years I have always started the new year’s product reviews with showing you what Craftsman has to offer. This year will be no different. But first I want to state my opinion of the sale of the Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker. The sale was announced on January 5, 2017 but I wanted to wait a few weeks for the dust to settle. You may read the press release here: Stanley Black & Decker Reaches Agreement To Purchase Craftsman Brand From Sears Holdings
This is a win/win for Craftsman! Why? Sears has always been one of those very unique companies that not only sold just about everything made, but over the years engineered and manufactured (or farmed it out) many of the items. No other retailer I am aware of has product engineers. But this uniqueness has left Sears strapped for cash many times over the years. (The lead time from engineering to placing on the store shelves can be years) It’s one of those underlying issues that has driven the newspapers crazy. They always treated Sears like a retail box store – but it wasn’t and it drove them nuts when the company didn’t roll over and die. This new ownership will allow Sears to become the retailer it should transform into and will allow the Craftsman brand to flourish.
The rest of this article is a bullet list of what I got out of the press release. The facts are directly from Stanley Black & Decker but I’ve changed some of the words to make it read better.
An Investment In Organic Growth
Stanley Black & Decker To Purchase Craftsman Brand From Sears Holdings…
• Obtaining Rights To Develop, Manufacture And Sell Craftsman Brand In Non-Sears Retail, Industrial & Online Channels
• Sears To Continue Developing, Sourcing & Selling Craftsman In All Sears Retail Channels Under Perpetual License Agreement
• SBD To Significantly Increase Availability And Innovation Of Craftsman Products And Add Manufacturing In the U.S. To Support Growth
…Enhances Company’s Rich Brand Portfolio With Addition Of Iconic Craftsman Brand
The Craftsman Brand Today:
- Iconic Brand Within U.S. In Power & Hand Tools And Storage Products
- High Brand Awareness
- Strong Presence In Lawn & Garden
- External Sears Sales – Predominantly Through Ace Hardware
- Diverse & Complementary Product Lines
The Craftsman Brand Today:
Stanley Black & Decker stated in their press release that Craftsman is a Strong Brand With High Retail / Industrial Channel Customer Interest.
Sears And Sears-Related Channels make up about 90% of Retail Sales of the Craftsman brand.
How the Craftsman product sales break down.
- Sears~65% Of Retail Sales
- Sears Hometown ~20% Of Retail Sales.*Sears Hometown Is A Separate Publicly Traded Company (NASDAQ: SHOS) That Sells Sears Merchandise
- Kmart ~5% Of Retail Sales
- External Accounts like Ace ~10% of Retail Sales
What’s In This For You?
Craftsman & U.S. Manufacturing Base Expansion
- Expand distribution to new and existing non-Sears Retail & E-Commerce Channels
- Expanded “Made In The USA”
- Expand manufacturing in the USA.
- Greatly expand the product line.
- Potential to license the Craftsman L&G brand to Outdoor Manufactures.
- Sell Craftsman branded products through dealer networks.
- Sears will continue to sell Craftsman and won’t have to pay royalties for 15 years.
Overall, there are a lot of questions about this sale and very few of them have been answered since the press release but I am extremely positive about this sale. In my opinion this sale solidifies what I have been saying all along. Craftsman isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.
Note: Comments will be closed on articles, reviews and buyer’s guides over 90 days old.
Hi Paul, great info on your site! I have been reading many of your articles lately trying to zero in on my rider decision this spring. I originally was leaning strongly towards a Zero Degree rider but after reading your article about zero degrees, I fear it won’t be a smart investment for my particular lawn setup due to my steep hill in the front of my house. I am currently using a 15hp 42″ old school green craftsman rider that still works perfectly for me but am definitely looking to upgrade. When I’m cutting that front steep hill I go down towards an angle to give the grass some nice professional looking lines, but I go down with my foot on the brake the whole way down, which is why the zero degree will not work for me unless I go with a steering wheel version. (The no brake thing kind of freaks me out.) I currently like the Craftsman pro 27055 garden tractor, but have a lot of questions regarding the companies current financial state. I know the craftsman line is safe due to the recent sale to Stanley/BD, but how will the warranty be worked out if say Sears goes under in the next couple of years? any thoughts? Thanks again for all you do!
Hi Hector, You will really like the extra room and the easy steering on the new tractor!
I am not concerned about the fate of Craftsman or your warranty. Why?
– Craftsman is doing extremely well and will do even better under the new ownership. Stanley/B&D will not do anything to tarnish the name and reputation. In fact Craftsman won 3 Edison Awards last night for new innovative products.
– Only about 17% of all the parts that break on all riding mowers today fall under the factory defects. In particular the Craftsman Pro series just is not having any issues at all. Besides what I am hearing the reviews of the 27055 have a whopping 75% 5 star rating.
– I am guessing that your old Craftsman is a six speed gear drive. Today hydro’s like the 27055 only use the left pedal for a parking brake. To slow down on a hill you just let up on the right side forward pedal and the transmission holds you back on the hill. In fact when you take your foot off the speed control it will stop on the hill. (of course be careful not to try to stop too fast on a hill because you may slide down it) You will find with a little practice you will never use the left brake pedal.
– Sears parts and Sears repair services are not part of the retail network that is always in trouble. They will still be around if the stores go away. Sears Repair Services actually cover the warranty.
Buy from Sears: Craftsman Pro Series 54″ 26 HP V-Twin Kohler Garden Tractor Hydrostatic w/ TurnTight Extreme® & Smart Lawn Bluetooth Technology
Hey Paul, so I ended up getting this machine!
Man so far this thing is amazing. The 5 degree turn tight capability is phenomenal! The strong engine, has no issues with my hill, and the 3 bagger bin to collect the clippings works flawlessly with no jamming/clogging issues. Sears delivered it already full assembled. All I had to do was read the manual, and fill her up with fuel. have used it about 5 times already. No issues.
Thanks for your help!
Looking for a self propelled walk behind mower to replace my Toro Super Recycler from 2002.
I would like one with a higher handle than my Toro. Whats the scoop on the the new dont change it just add it engine oil?
Your advice is appreciated
GREAT SITE INFO!!!!
First timer here…if B&D is the new owner of the Craftsman line, first, will B&D do the manufacturing to Sears Specs still?
will B&D continue to use the present mfgrs who build to Sears Specs?
Hi Don, That question has not been answered and I don’t expect a solid answer for quite some time.
But, there are really only four manufacturers who have lawn tractor assembly lines for the U.S. market. John Deere, Briggs & Stratton, Husqvarna Outdoor Products and MTD. In the past Craftsman has spec’d out the equipment and put it out for bid to the four. Over the years HOP has gotten the most bids, MTD second and B&S(Simplicity Mfg) third. The assembly line that HOP currently owns in South Carolina has a long history of building for Sears. All the way back to the 60’s when that assembly line was located in Kankakee, IL.
Now there are additional riding mower assembly lines in Europe and the Far East but B&D was very clear that they wanted to bring back as much “made In the U.S.A.” as they could.
In my opinion, I wouldn’t see B&D creating an assembly line for the existing styles of riding mowers and lawn tractors. The design is too outdated. But, who knows where the technology will lead us in the next 10 years. (The battery capacity in your iPhone required a box the size of two bricks 20 years ago)
Hey Paul. Great site! Thanks for all you do. I’m looking to get a garden tractor this year and I’ve been considering the Craftsman model 27048. I’m particularly interested in it because of the locking differential because I have some small hills and may use it for pushing snow. Have you had a chance to review this model yet, and if so, what are your thoughts, particularly with Craftsman locking differentials? What has been your experience with them?
Hi Curtis, If you haven’t signed up for the emails please do so and I’ll be posting a review of the Craftsman Garden Tractors in the next 24 hours. There are some things to consider before you buy a tractor with a diff lock.
For everyone reading this comment. For 2017 I am planning on writing the reviews in this order. Why? All the info I need is not available and some won’t be until late March.
Craftsman at Sears including Zero Turns
Cub Cadet at Home Depot
Toro at Home Depot
John Deere and Ariens at Home Depot
Husqvarna at Amazon
Walk-Behind Mowers including cordless electric.
Chinese and other overseas brands.
I have no relationship with Lowes so I will not write reviews of their specific models. Of course I will gladly help you decide if they are right for you if you ask.