Brand Plans Aplenty at Hardware Show

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For some companies the National Hardware Show this year was about building momentum around the relaunch of existing licensed brands, while others sought to find a home for new ones.

Stanley Black & Decker’s (SBD) started discretely laying the groundwork for the upcoming Craftsman relaunch, by having some licensees quietly pitch plans to retailers, but without exhibits or product demonstrations.

At the same time Martha Stewart licensee Snow Joe unveiled plans bringing brand into outdoor power products such as snow blowers, pressure washers and cordless leaf blowers, while Scotts Miracle-Gro licensee American Lawn Mower Co. laid out a similar strategy for outdoor products for the Scotts brand. And Generac, better known for its own brand of generators, is readying a premium-priced line of licensed DeWalt models for Home Depot in 2019.

Among developments:

  • Craftsman products will be mid-priced and partly draw from its SBD’s existing base of 150 licensees for its DeWalt, Stanley and Black & Decker brands, says Maya Kobray of Beanstalk, which represents the brand for licensing. More than 50 licensees are expected to field Craftsman products across the outdoor power equipment, lawn and garden, garage and automotive segments. These include long-time Black and Decker and DeWalt safety products licensee Radians (safety masks and gloves) and Bond Manufacturing (hose and pruning shears). SBD has established a “Craftsman Garage” near its offices in Towson, MD to showcase products for licensees and retailers. SBD has “tweaked” the Craftsman logo and fonts of its letters and given the packaging a slightly brighter red color, says Kobray.
  • McCormick & Co. is returning to licensing some brands it acquired last year in buying Reckitt Benckiser’s food business for $4.2 billion (Inside Licensing July 27). The Companion Group, which is starting to ship McCormick’s Grill Mates barbeque accessories including a smoker box, sausage basket and bacon grilling rack, also is weighing licenses for some former Reckitt Benckiser properties, including French’s Mustard, says Leah Belzer-Adams of The Companion Group, also mentioning the Stubb’s barbeque brand that McCormick acquired in buying One World Foods in 2015.
  • A QVC exclusive for Martha Stewart gardening tools, pressure washers and snow blowers is ending, potentially setting the stage for a broadening of distribution for those products to other retailers by Q3, says Karina Velastegui of Snow Joe, which has the license. The line, which numbers more than 100 SKUs, is the first time the brand has been applied to outdoor power equipment and is a return of its license to garden tools (spade, pruning shears, garden hoses). The products, which were exclusive of QVC for several months, also represent a further expansion of licensing for Martha Stewart, which Sequential Brands Group acquired in 2015.
  • The American Lawn Mower Co. is scrapping its own Earthwise battery-powered lawn mowers in favor of the Scotts label, readying the new line for retail in spring 2019, says Kate Hemming of American Lawn Mower. The 18-inch and 21-inch wide mowers will be available in 40- and 62-volt versions at $299-$499, powered by a lithium ion battery that runs for an hour fully charged. American previously had the Scotts license for push mowers sold through Home Depot. The same batteries used to the power the lawn mower also are compatible with American Lawn Mower’s Scotts brand chainsaws, hedge and string trimmers, cordless leaf blowers and other products.
  • Beverage coolers took on new licenses and forms at the show. Rio Brands, which has a Margaritaville license for a host of products including Adirondack chairs and backyard bars, introduced new 55-, 77- and 100-quart coolers. Rio also markets Tommy Bahama coolers, the bulk of which are sold through Costco, says a company spokeswoman. Meanwhile, Kanooler Products, which develops CreekKooler floating coolers, recently reached an agreement to apply Mossy Oak brand to its line as it enters licensing for the first time, says Steve Cherry of Kanooler Products.
  • Stanley brand licensee Red Tool Box is expanding a line of “Stanley Jr.” children’s products, adding a set of garden tools (hand trowels, rakes and spades along with hoes, shovels and rakes), for delivery in 2019 along with a work bench and kits for building toy dump and cement trucks.

Contacts:

American Lawn Mower Co., Kate Hemming, Sales Operations Mgr., 800-633-1501 x123, khemming@earthwisetools.com

Beanstalk, Linda Morgenstern, VP Brand Management, 561-447-6607, linda.morgenstern.com

Beanstalk, Maya Kobray, Brand Management Dir., 212-303-1158, maya.kobray@beanstalk.com

The Companion Group, Leah Belzer-Adams, Chief Operating Officer, 510-597-3519, leah@companion-group.com

CreekKooler, Steve Cherry, Owner, 479-366-5606, stevec@kanoolerproducts.com

Midland Products Inc. Dimitri Tsako, VP, 416-609-0159 x606, Dimitri@midlandproductsinc.com

Radians, Christopher Massa, VP Retail Sales, 901-388-7776​, chris.massa@radians.com

Red Tool Box, Ami Rosenfeld, CEO, +972 9 7663803, ami@red-toolbox.com

Snow Joe, Karina Velastegui, supervisor, 732-832-2588, kvelastegui@snowjoe.com

Stanley Black and Decker, Todd Snellenburg, VP Sales 443-927-5483, todd.snellenburg@sbdinc.com