Stanley Black & Decker investing $90M to shift more Craftsman production back to US

Stanley Black & Decker announced on Wednesday that it was investing $90 million in a plant in Texas – a move aimed at continuing its effort to shift production of a range of Craftsman products back to the U.S.

The new 425,000-square-foot facility will be located in Fort Worth, where tools ranging from sockets, ratchets, wrenches to general sets will be produced.

“When we purchased Craftsman in 2017 we were determined to revitalize this iconic U.S. brand and bring back its American manufacturing heritage," Stanley Black & Decker President and CEO Jim Loree said in a statement. “From the launch of Craftsman's refreshed brand identity last year to our announcement of the first new manufacturing facility in many years, we’re demonstrating our continued commitment to grow the brand and bring even more production of these great products back to the United States.”

Stanley bought Craftsman from struggling retailer Sears in 2017, which continues to sell some of the brand’s products. In an effort to cut costs, Sears had outsourced production to places like China and Mexico.

During its most recent earnings call, Stanley said its growth in North America continued to be fueled by its Craftsman brand rollout, where it said it saw expansion across all categories.

Meanwhile, the company cited tariffs as a significant headwind.

The company is focusing on automation, artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, virtual reality and other advanced manufacturing technologies in order to enhance productivity. Technologies that will be included at the Fort Worth plant in particular are pre-flattening steel technologies, which could “improve material yield by almost 25 percent,” according to the company.

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Stanley said on Wednesday that Craftsman was on track to reach $1 billion in incremental revenues by 2021. It operates 30 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. – and more than 100 around the world.

Groundbreaking in Fort Worth will occur later this year, with completion expected in late-2020. It will employ about 500 full-time workers.