Stanley, founded in 1843 in its headquarters town of New Britain, Conn., says it is using the recession to hopefully expand its market share globally. “We are choosing to take share...get aggressive and grow,” says Beau Parker, vice president of marketing for the newly combined unit. Much of that growth is expected to be overseas. In 2003, 67% of Stanley’s tool sales were in the U.S.; in 2008, that share had fallen to 40%. The combination of the two units will double the construction sales force, since each previously had separate teams that were not coordinated.
The effort also involves the rejuvenation of the Stanley brand by reinventing and delivering some core products. These include a new line of five premium planes under the “Sweetheart” brand, which the company first introduced in 1915. The No. 4 smoothing bench plane includes a patented lateral locking adjustment that helps users make a heavier cut on one side, and there is a firm lockdown to ensure the blade does not shift in use. The retail price is about $179. Also available is the No. 62 low-angle jack plane with a Norris-style adjustment mechanism and cherry handles ($179), No. 60½ low-angle block plane ($99.99), No. 9½ Block plane ($99.99) and No. 92 shoulder/chisel plane ($149).