Craftsman expands to 2,000-plus Ace stores

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace Hardware says the rollout of the Craftsman brand across its network of stores has crossed the 2,000 location milestone. 

Since Ace signed a deal in 2010 with Sears to bring Craftsman products to Ace stores, more than 2,000 neighborhood Ace stores now offer a full line assortment of more than 650 Craftsman products, the co-op announced today.

The line includes hand tools, portable and bench top power tools, compressors, pneumatic tools, wet/dry vacs, tool storage, lawn and garden, outdoor power equipment items and garage door openers.

The deal makes the exclusive retailer of Craftsman products "in the convenience hardware industry," the co-op said. The co-op also said it is stepping up its efforts to tell the public about the Craftsman offering. 

“The sheer number of stores that carry Craftsman products is a real testament to the brand’s strength and our retailers’ commitment to offering homeowners the best brands paired with the personal, knowledgeable and helpful service that they have come to expect when shopping at their neighborhood Ace Hardware store,” said John Surane, senior VP marketing, merchandising and sales for Ace Hardware Corp. “As is true of all our retailer programs, our independent retailers are able to select different sets to meet the needs of their communities and markets.” 

“When we started the Craftsman brand relationship with Ace in 2010, we believed that Ace strongly complemented our existing offerings available in the market place,” said Michael Castleman, head of the Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard business unit of Sears Holdings. “Expanding Craftsman to more Ace retail stores confirms that belief, shows the continued strength of the brand and better serves the passion of the DIY community, which is shared by Ace and the Craftsman brand.” 

Ace said it is launching a national marketing campaign to let consumers know that Ace is the neighborhood destination for Craftsman tools, garage, and lawn and garden items. The campaign will include national TV and radio advertising as part of the recently launched “Meet the Aces” campaign; a Father’s Day gift guide featuring Craftsman products; social media; digital advertising; emails to members of the Ace Rewards customer loyalty program and public relations initiatives.