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SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltimaDork
1/6/17 1:49 p.m.

It's sad that one of the largest companies in the US is pretty much dead at this point, someone just needs to pull the plug and we need to be done with this.

HappyAndy
HappyAndy PowerDork
1/6/17 2:11 p.m.
jde wrote: In reply to SVreX: Interesting theory, as I also couldn't see the long-term value of the name for anyone under about 40. My theory in the other direction of the name retaining some value and brand recognition was using it in places like Menards and Walmart to counter Kobalt, etc. as a middle brand between Stanley and Mac (as someone else noted).

Maybe they'll start reissuing stuff from the good old days and market them to hipsters, ironically and overpriced.

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler GRM+ Memberand UberDork
1/6/17 2:23 p.m.
HappyAndy wrote:
jde wrote: In reply to SVreX: Interesting theory, as I also couldn't see the long-term value of the name for anyone under about 40. My theory in the other direction of the name retaining some value and brand recognition was using it in places like Menards and Walmart to counter Kobalt, etc. as a middle brand between Stanley and Mac (as someone else noted).
Maybe they'll start reissuing stuff from the good old days and market them to hipsters, ironically and overpriced.

Can't wait to see Toughskins make a comeback!

The0retical
The0retical Dork
1/6/17 2:35 p.m.
SyntheticBlinkerFluid wrote: It's sad that one of the largest companies in the US is pretty much dead at this point, someone just needs to pull the plug and we need to be done with this.

It's astounding how badly the brand was mismanaged to get it to this point.

Interestingly, from the same era where Sears took a wrong turn, several other much smaller brands such as Timberland and Nautica (both now owned by the same holding group) have managed to revamp their image and position themselves well back in their respective markets.

Obviously there are some differences since Sears had a huge breadth of product lines. It is just unbelievable to me that when they started hemorrhaging money no one had the wherewithal to stop the bleeding. They just started seeking some/any kind of return for investors and ended up killing the golden goose for a meal.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltimaDork
1/6/17 2:47 p.m.

In reply to The0retical:

Not only that, but internet sales ruined Sears. If you want to know what Sears would have become if they had embraced the internet as a way to digitalize the Sears catalog, look at Amazon.

The Sears in my town is still open and if you wander away from the appliance and tool sections, it is a former shell of itself. It looks like it's on a permanent "EVERYTHING MUST GO!" type sale. It's quite sad.

The0retical
The0retical Dork
1/6/17 5:10 p.m.

In reply to SyntheticBlinkerFluid:

I just moved back to Pennsylvania from California. The mall I remember as a teenager in Stroudsburg really seems to be a shell of what it was. It's mostly just a bunch of popup shops plus the anchors. Not really somewhere I'd go to spend money anymore unless I need something right that day. As you noted, the Sears just looked like it was getting ready to sell the racking.

The one in San Bernardino looked better but you sort of got that everyone sort of gave up once Sears started selling off brands.

Their website doesn't help things either. I'm not so committed to them that I'm willing to spend the time sorting through some of the craptacular offerings of the third parties to find what I want. I'll use someone with a real site search engine and neatly sorted categories.

Random side note: That'll likely be Amazon's eventual downfall as I detest sorting through some of the crap that comes up when I have an idea of what I'm looking for but not the exact item. PC parts are a good example, I'll just use Newegg where I can get granular with specs.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro PowerDork
1/6/17 11:13 p.m.

Umm, Snap-On does not require POP for warranty. I see my guy once a week, I even bring him stuff that's older than I am to repair or replace.

That would be a death sentence for them.

Unless you're talking about the "snap-on" branded crap you see at Costco. That stuff isn't actually snap-on and needs to be returned to Costco for warranty.

oldopelguy wrote: I suspect the first step will be to require proof of purchase for replacement going forward, just like Snap On does now.

oldopelguy
oldopelguy UltraDork
1/6/17 11:54 p.m.

Your Snap On guy is better than mine then, because mine have turned me away with broken tools twice now because I couldn't prove I bought them new.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro PowerDork
1/7/17 12:36 a.m.

I would move up the food chain then. That's absolute crap.

U.S. Snap-on Tools Customer Service by phone call our toll free number at 877-762-7664 Monday - Friday, 6:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Central Time U.S. Customers only

I did just look up their warranty policy and they actually do state that they require proof of purchase but I've never been asked for it and I've never heard of it.

Sounds like you've got a crappy sales rep. I got stuck with one once. Phoned S/O here in Canada and asked to be assigned a different rep. Much better now.

fasted58
fasted58 UltimaDork
1/7/17 8:30 a.m.

In reply to The0retical:

The Sears site hasn't been all that bad before, maybe it is now though w/ the third party thing. Just searching last night for a pipe die, Sears came up in search w/ the third party. Why should I buy through Sears when I could just buy direct from the vendor.

I've hit their tool sale page then ordered online for store pickup for an extra 5-10% off IIRC. Confirmation email for pickup ready came 10-15 minutes later. I could have my sale goods in 30 minutes I live so close.

Used Searspartsdirect too. Found many parts easier there, been a while tho. They might have berkeleyed that up too.

Wall-e
Wall-e GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/7/17 9:31 a.m.
Tom_Spangler wrote: Can't wait to see Toughskins make a comeback!

Not me. Having mom shout across half the store "See if they have these in a husky size". Then the rug burns where my fat legs rubbed together. Thank God she stopped buying corduroy anyway.

I walk through Sears once in a while and it's depressing. As a kid lots of our big shopping was done there and watching it die off is sad.

Junkyard_Dog
Junkyard_Dog SuperDork
1/7/17 12:59 p.m.

Back when I lived in Connecticut in the late 90s they opened a "Craftsman" store in my town. Ironically it was on the site of the demolished Sears store that was built in the late 40s. It was tools, lawn&Garden, and appliances. Which made it a Craftsman/Kenmore store now that I think about it. BEST THING EVER! No trudging through the mall for bare shelves and clerks recently transferred from ladies underwear*. They were well stocked and the salespeople were actually somewhat knowledgeable. Because that was all they did.

There is a similar store here in Louisville but it is Kenmore and mattresses only. I've never been inside.

*I've never had anything rebuilt at Sears. EVER. Nobody in the department including the manager could do it even if they wanted to. Straight replacement only. If your store does rebuilding just save your brokens until Christmas and bring a big pile of them in a box. Even skilled rebuilders will be too swamped to do anything but exchange for new.

einy
einy Reader
1/7/17 1:47 p.m.

Not that it matters directly to the Craftsman discussion, but I do know that SB&D is investing heavily in equipment and manufacturing processe that allow moving manufacturing of at least their higher end consumer goods back to the US from Taiwan. From my dealings with them, there is alot of value seen on their side in having tighter control over their major component supply chain.

Personally, I have a more positive outlook for the future of Craftsman tools under SB&D's watch than under Sears' at this point.

Knurled
Knurled GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/9/17 7:37 a.m.
Huckleberry wrote: Companies that made tools so they didn't break could sell them for enough dollars to afford to have lifetime warranties. Craftsman could no longer afford it because they haven't been that company since I was a little kid. What does that tell you is going to happen when a different company picks up their baggage?

IIRC, Craftsman didn't care that the tools broke, they wanted a reason for people to come back to a Sears store. The hardest part of retail is getting bodies through the door.

Knurled
Knurled GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/9/17 7:48 a.m.
HappyAndy wrote:
jde wrote: In reply to SVreX: Interesting theory, as I also couldn't see the long-term value of the name for anyone under about 40. My theory in the other direction of the name retaining some value and brand recognition was using it in places like Menards and Walmart to counter Kobalt, etc. as a middle brand between Stanley and Mac (as someone else noted).
Maybe they'll start reissuing stuff from the good old days and market them to hipsters, ironically and overpriced.

Google "Park peanut butter wrench"

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/16/17 6:14 a.m.

Northern Tool offers warranties on their Klutch brands. I've not managed to break one, yet.

Advan046
Advan046 SuperDork
1/16/17 8:38 a.m.

As a former Stanley employee on the tool side I can guess the plan will be multi faceted.

Many may not know that Craftsman already started stratifying their tools some were lifetime some were not. For the mainstream tool buyer they were best at inovating ideas even if they didn't execute them the best. Other times they did the best adaptation of an idea. Their low end tools compete well with the HF and other cheap stuff. Their lifetime stuff was much better, as in a prior post, the hex of open end wrenchs at the high level wouldn't slip off the hex.

I can see Stanley dropping their plan to bring Stanley hand tools into market into the US. Instead building on the massive name recognition of Craftsman to make them the first entry level lifetime guarantee tools. Keep the Evolv brand for the HF fight and pulling in DeWalt as the premier open sales consumer brand. MAC will stay the closed sales brand.

Being involved in the industry taught me some rules of the road.

  • Anything made in house is usually better. bosch, Makita, DeWalt, Milwaukee, etc all design some things in house and others are outsourced. We were shocked at how one of a line of drills by Bosch performed terribly compared to the rest until our marketing guys researched and found only that one version of the same drill family was outsourced.
  • The average consumer won't know which is made in house or not.
  • All Black and Decker is outsourced.
  • DeWalt cordless perform equal or better to Makita stuff. But Bosch uses German subsidies to do better in some tools.
  • DeWalt hand tools are rebranded Stanley tools.
  • Makita saws are magical but their blades suck. Makita with top of the line DeWalt blades is perfect. Only the newest DeWalt matches Makita. Bosch seemed to drop quality of all the recent family of saws.

I think for Hand tools I will still do the top level Craftsman or Shift to DeWalt pending the changes to Craftsman.

Knurled
Knurled GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/16/17 12:02 p.m.
Trans_Maro wrote: I would move up the food chain then. That's absolute crap. U.S. Snap-on Tools Customer Service by phone* call our toll free number at 877-762-7664 Monday - Friday, 6:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Central Time *U.S. Customers only I did just look up their warranty policy and they actually do state that they require proof of purchase but I've never been asked for it and I've never heard of it. Sounds like you've got a crappy sales rep. I got stuck with one once. Phoned S/O here in Canada and asked to be assigned a different rep. Much better now.

I moved in to a new shop and had some broken Snap-On wobble sockets. The Snap-On guy said "Yeah, that happens."

Next week, I spent $400 for new wobble sockets from MAC. Almost all of my Snap-On tools have now been traded out or replaced.

I'm not buying the tool, I'm buying the warranty. If you take care of me on the warranty, I have zero problem with spending 5-10x as much as a similar tool from Harbor Freight or something. Stiff me on the warranty, I'll take my business elsewhere.

PS - I've been buying Carlisle tools from NAPA lately. Downside - no $30/week rolling payment. Upside - good quality stuff and I can generally get something warrantied the next morning if not sooner.

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