Sears to Let Other Retailers Sell DieHard Products

Discussion
Feb 12, 2010
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Sears Brand Management Corporation announced it has reached
a licensing agreement with Schumacher Electric Corporation allowing it to sell
DieHard brand power accessories, including battery chargers, jump starters
and power inverters, to retailers in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Mexico.

“DieHard
is the top selling brand of power accessories in the U.S.,” said Guenther Trieb,
senior vice president and president of brands for Sears Brand Management Corporation,
in a press release. “We’re excited that this agreement will allow our customers
the opportunity to purchase DieHard power accessories at additional retail
outlets.”

Don Schumacher,
CEO of Schumacher Electric, added, “The DieHard name is the most trusted in
the automotive battery industry, and the brand is instantly recognized by millions
of consumers. Through this license agreement, we look forward to expanding
the reach of the DieHard brand and the availability of DieHard products through
retail channels.”

The decision to allow DieHard products to be sold in other retailers
is consistent with statements made in January 2008 when Sears Holdings announced
it was reorganizing its business into independent operating units.

“We are introducing an organizational structure that provides operating businesses
with greater control, authority and autonomy. Each operating business unit
will have a designated leader and an advisory group comprised of senior Sears
Holdings executives to provide direction and oversee the business unit’s performance,” said
a company statement.

Discussion Questions: What will the DieHard licensing
agreement mean for the brand? What will it mean for the Sears and Kmart stores
that presently sell DieHard products?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

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19 Comments on "Sears to Let Other Retailers Sell DieHard Products"


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David Livingston
Guest
11 years 3 months ago

To claim that Sears and Kmart sell anything sometimes can be an overstatement. Having the DieHard brand sold in other stores should benefit Sears since they have pretty much lost their way on how to do retail. Perhaps letting someone with stronger selling experience take over selling the brand will have better results.

Other retailers will need to be careful because of the severe damage Sears has done to their own brands. Selling Sears products in other stores might damage the reputation of those other stores as well.

Schumacher Electric? Never heard of them. That’s probably where those products will end up; at companies I haven’t heard of.

John Boccuzzi, Jr.
Guest
John Boccuzzi, Jr.
11 years 3 months ago

From a brand-only perspective, the move appears to be very good for DieHard. Expanding the reach and awareness of DieHard will increase sales overall. The big question is, how will this affect Sears and their actual stores? If a consumer can purchase a DieHard battery from another location other than Sears for the same price, will that mean one less trip for that consumer to Sears? What is the average basket of a shopper who purchases a battery at Sears today?

I am sure management took all this into consideration, but those are the questions I would be asking.

From a brand exposure and sales perspective, good move. From a Sears’s retail store perspective, questionable. Only time will tell.

Joel Warady
Guest
Joel Warady
11 years 3 months ago
It is a great move, and it is about time. There are certain assets that Sears owns that they are able to leverage, and three of those assets are DieHard, Kenmore, and Craftsman. After all of these years, these brands are still very strong in the marketplace, and Sears should do all they can to maximize the value of these brands. Allowing other retailers the opportunity to distribute these products will result in a huge revenue stream for the company. To be fair, there are many people who wrote Sears off a few years ago (include me in on this group), and I have to say, they seemed to have turned a corner. Their retail messaging with their Blue has brought a Geek Squad type solution to all appliances, updated for Gen Y consumers. Their online experience, and their social media strategy continue to impress and improve, and now the concept of allowing their brands to be sold elsewhere is the next step in their revitalization. I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but… Read more »
Marc Gordon
Guest
Marc Gordon
11 years 3 months ago

Is the popularity of DieHard due to the quality of the products or the fact it was backed by Sears? We’ll all know the answer to this within a year of being able to by DieHard products at your local Pep Boys.

Carol Spieckerman
Guest
11 years 3 months ago

My wait is over! Sears finally did what I’ve been expecting it to do ever since it pulled off the largest securitization of intellectual property in history (when it pulled DieHard, Kenmore and Craftsman into a separate entity a couple of years ago).

THIS is why all of the scoffing about how Sears is running its retail business may be irrelevant: Phil Lampert has started the retailer-as-licensor ball rolling and now may pursue any number of licensing deals that will monetize its big three brands outside of Sears.

We have been predicting that retailer-as-licensor will become the next big branding trend and that Sears might lead the charge. As it is, Safeway’s O Organics food line and a couple of others beat them to the party (again…sigh). However, if Sears moves aggressively into additional licensing agreements for all three brands, they could leave everyone in the dust. Don’t say you weren’t warned: retailer as licensor has started its engines!

Bob Phibbs
Guest
11 years 3 months ago

Game over; grasping at straws for relevance even as they destroy their own exclusiveness.

Ben Ball
Guest
11 years 3 months ago

DieHard (and maybe Kenmore and Craftsman) will be the Sears equivalent to Eight O’Clock Coffee–the only remaining vestige of A&P as we once knew it.

Marge Laney
Guest
11 years 3 months ago

At first I thought it was a bad idea because it would make their stores less relevant. But, then I re-read the article and I got hung on the sentence; “The DieHard name is the most trusted in the automotive battery industry and the brand is instantly recognized by millions of consumers.”

Wow, people trust them and the brand has instant recognition! Isn’t that every retailers dream, especially now? Isn’t that how the Sears brand used to resonate with consumers back in the day? Craftsman, Kenmore, DieHard were ubiquitous in American households and were trusted without doubt. I see this as a powerful way for Sears to get back into the minds and hearts of the American consumer. With the marketing visibility that the brand will receive through all of the new associations and sponsorships that these licensing agreements will no doubt generate, the Sears brand just might rise again.

Mel Kleiman
Guest
11 years 3 months ago

Great for the Sears brands that can stand on their own. Bad for Sears the retailer. When Craftsmen and DieHard can be bought at other places, the consumer now has two less reasons to ever walk into a Sears store.

Adam Drake
Guest
Adam Drake
11 years 3 months ago

Like many here, I believe Sears has lost relevance and has an enormous hill to climb—as a retailer. They still have three great brands–Craftsman, Kenmore and DieHard (potentially in that order). Share of each has eroded significantly because, in my opinion, they are tied to Sears’ sinking ship.

I don’t believe Sears and Kmart are viable for the long term. Beyond their significant merchandising and operational problems they simply do not have a business model that has relevance. Selling their other brands in other outlets will hasten the decline, but it is inevitable at this point.

I think they have two choices: 1. Keep their brands in house and watch as everything goes under; or 2. Sell the brands in other outlets, watch their stores die and go away and have something left over to keep at least some people employed and some value for shareholders.

Mark Burr
Guest
11 years 3 months ago
Sadly, I agree with the majority of the comments so far. Sears might as well sell the DieHard, Craftsman and Kenmore brands while they can. Otherwise, as mentioned, they may become worthless legends of the past. At least DieHard and Craftsman may still have value–some at least. Kenmore has likely passed its relevance a long time ago. Maybe someone else can do something with them. Sears hasn’t even been able to use these as a strength to power them to some sort of recovery. They harmed the Lands’ End brand. Might as well give someone else a try. The problem is, they are destined to become another brand on someone else’s shelves. Remember Craftsman stores? They proved that they were unable to make their own brands stand on their own. Will someone else be able to? I doubt it. But, they’d be a nice additional choice beside all the others on someone else’s shelf, since few are going to Sears to buy them off their shelves.
Craig Sundstrom
Guest
11 years 3 months ago

I’ll second (maybe sixth or seventh) the comments here: good for the brands, bad for Sears.

Cathy Hotka
Guest
11 years 3 months ago

Don’t you wish that we could all get into a room with Eddie Lampert and tell him these things in person?

Ted Hurlbut
Guest
Ted Hurlbut
11 years 3 months ago

I can only concur with what’s already been said. This is likely very good for Sears Holdings, but it can’t be good for the Sears retail stores. This might maximize value, but only underscores what many have said about Eddie Lampert; he’s not in it for the retail.

Kai Clarke
Guest
11 years 3 months ago

This is a win for Sears, the DieHard brand, and everyone who sells it! Sears needs to do the same with Craftsman and Kenmore and grow their business using the brands that people know and have come to trust over many years!

Janet Poore
Guest
Janet Poore
11 years 3 months ago

Leave it to Sears to give people another reason not to come to their stores. They should just close up shop and sell the Kenmore appliances at Best Buy.

Jerry Gelsomino
Guest
11 years 3 months ago

Didn’t we just talk about this yesterday? What does Sears want to be? Why is it giving away its brand personality to other retailers? While the Sears name behind a product stands for quality, dependability, and warranty, an unknown behind the product is headed for disaster.

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
11 years 3 months ago

A while back I had an ’89 635Csi Bimmer. Drove it for several years. Loved it and lavished it with maintenance and upgrades (Dinan for those who know). When I needed a new battery, I decided to go with DieHard rather than the OEM Interstate brand. The DieHard died hard. Could barely crank my engine over. Money back. Got an Interstate that worked just fine. Hopefully others trust the DieHard brand more than I.

My impression of DieHard since then is that the brand has lost some luster. Don’t see the TV ads any more (remember those?). Now practically a commodity rather than a brand, DieHard’s only way to retain some value for Sears Holdings is simply to sell more units in more locations. There’s really no choice.

Debbie Hetherington
Guest
Debbie Hetherington
11 years 3 months ago

Problem is, Eddie Lambert won’t listen to anybody except himself. That’s why there’s a revolving door up there in Hoffman Estates. With this “sale” and other possible “sales,” it is the death of Sears as we know it. It is not my father’s retailer anymore.

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