Sears stores and Craftsman tools have been like ham and cheese for years, but that's about to change, because Sears just unloaded Craftsman in favor of a big ol' pile of cash.
Sears sold Craftsman to Stanley Black & Decker for the princely sum of $900 million. Stanley will assume the ability to develop, build and sell Craftsman products outside of Sears. Sears will continue to sell Craftsman products in its stores, royalty-free, for 15 years.
Part of the reason Sears and Craftsman were so interlinked was the sales model -- it was basically limited to Sears. Approximately 10 percent of Craftsman-branded tools were sold outside of Sears, and Stanley intends on changing that with its acquisition.
Craftsman earned notoriety decades ago for its lifetime warranty on its hand tools. Sears confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that the unlimited lifetime warranty will continue on with Stanley at the helm.
Things are...not exactly great for Sears. This cash infusion comes at a good time, as the company is closing another 150 Sears and Kmart stores in the face of poor sales. Sears will receive $525 million when the deal closes, $250 million three years later and also receive annual payments on post-acquisition sales for 15 years.
This could be a good thing for Craftsman. Coming from both conversations with friends and personal experience, Craftsman's hand tools have been dropping in quality for years. Hopefully, that turns around with Stanley at the helm.