Duracell charges into the generator category

Las Vegas -- Eastern Tools and Equipment unveiled its line of Duracell generators to the home improvement market during the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.

The familiar copper-colored equipment represents a deal about a year-and-a-half in the making, and follows some long negotiations with Procter & Gamble, which owns the Duracell brand.

"It took us almost four months to get a hold of the Procter & Gamble people to even sit down and talk to them," said Paul Adams, national sales manager for Eastern Tools & Equipment, based in Ontario, Calif.

The products received a "soft introduction" in November of last year at the APEX automotive-after-market show in Las Vegas.  At the National Hardware Show May 10-12, the products were well received, he said.

Price points run from about $299 for a 28-lb. inverter generator to $999 for a heavy-duty portable unit.

Licensing the name from the consumer goods giant was no easy matter, Adams said. "P&G is a big company. They want to make sure everything is perfect."

It turned out that independent of Eastern Tools' search for a licensing partner, P&G was actively looking to license its Duracell brand to a generator company, as long as the company could control quality and was able to produce a premium engine and premium features, Adams said. Several units have electric start with the battery included.

The Duracell generators operate at less than 5% total harmonic distortion -- a measure of the cleanliness of the power -- allowing for use with sensitive electronic equipment such as computers.