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kmealy

the Toolbox of America -- Stanley

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Haven't watched this all yet, but a PBS documentary on the Stanley Works   (about an hour long)

https://vimeo.com/253882614

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the other videos are well worth the watch too...

Edited by Stick486

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Great overview of the Stanley company. The history truly exemplifies the American can do attitude.

 

However, some key take-a-ways. The big box stores are responsible for the downfall of this and many similar companies. Like Walmart they dictated what the vendors were going to sell to them at what price. This caused a loss of expansion and development revenue which KILLED the domestic workforce, and forced off-shore manufacturing. The result...loss of domestic jobs, higher profit margins, lowering of quality, and the steady decline of a 150 year reputation for innovation and quality tools.

 

You don't hear much about it, but vendors are now rebelling against the companies like Walmart. They are no longer allowing Walmart to dictate the vendors wholesale pricing to increase the Walmart bottom line. Pay attention next time you are in Wally World. Name brand products and variety are slowly disappearing. Quality products are being replaced with lower quality "store brand" products. Many "name-brand" vendors will no longer do business with Walmart.

 

Case in point. I have been a member of Sam's Wholesale Club for almost 40 years. I now buy fewer and fewer products at Sam's. They have replaced name brand products (especially food products) with the store brand Member's Mark labeled products. Although I was assured that they were just as good as name brand, it is far from the truth. Variety of choice has disappeared and prices are not always lower than the retail outlets.

 

I am seriously considering not renewing my now due membership for the coming year. If enough people would abandon the lack of choice at places like Walmart, then the possibility exists that those businesses would either modify their business models or become extinct.

 

Rest assured, if a company like Walmart disappeared tomorrow, another company would spring up and fill the void. If they didn't learn from the mistakes they, too, would not survive.

 

Bottom line; Stanley once supplied the world with quality products, now the rest of the world supplies Stanley with low quality inferior products.

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1 hour ago, schnewj said:

Great overview of the Stanley company. The history truly exemplifies the American can do attitude.

 

However, some key take-a-ways. The big box stores are responsible for the downfall of this and many similar companies. Like Walmart they dictated what the vendors were going to sell to them at what price. This caused a loss of expansion and development revenue which KILLED the domestic workforce, and forced off-shore manufacturing. The result...loss of domestic jobs, higher profit margins, lowering of quality, and the steady decline of a 150 year reputation for innovation and quality tools.

 

You don't hear much about it, but vendors are now rebelling against the companies like Walmart. They are no longer allowing Walmart to dictate the vendors wholesale pricing to increase the Walmart bottom line. Pay attention next time you are in Wally World. Name brand products and variety are slowly disappearing. Quality products are being replaced with lower quality "store brand" products. Many "name-brand" vendors will no longer do business with Walmart.

 

Case in point. I have been a member of Sam's Wholesale Club for almost 40 years. I now buy fewer and fewer products at Sam's. They have replaced name brand products (especially food products) with the store brand Member's Mark labeled products. Although I was assured that they were just as good as name brand, it is far from the truth. Variety of choice has disappeared and prices are not always lower than the retail outlets.

 

I am seriously considering not renewing my now due membership for the coming year. If enough people would abandon the lack of choice at places like Walmart, then the possibility exists that those businesses would either modify their business models or become extinct.

 

Rest assured, if a company like Walmart disappeared tomorrow, another company would spring up and fill the void. If they didn't learn from the mistakes they, too, would not survive.

 

Bottom line; Stanley once supplied the world with quality products, now the rest of the world supplies Stanley with low quality inferior products.

:)

 

Yes, I was just reading this week that the last of the domestic clamp manufacturers is now gone.  The same day I looked at my Jorgenson F-clamps next to my Harbor Freight F-clamps and it was pretty clear they were a rip-off.   Not that they are bad, they just took the old design and copied it.

 

I suggest reading the Wal*mart Effect.  It is has a lot of instances of Wally World dictating lower prices from their suppliers.  There are some companies, like Snapper mower that refused and now are out of business or bought out.  Others like home-town P&G that I heard from several people it's like having tiger by the ears or making a deal with the Devil.  WalMart is now trying to counter e-commerce but IMO is doing a terrible job of it.   And on the radio this morning, an article about Sears being on the ropes and selling off trade names and real estate to survive.   The company that was built on serving the unserved with mail order catalogs failed to adapt, and when I worked for them was said, "Macy's prices, K-Mart quality."

 

And join Costco -- my favorite retailer.  Their house-brand quality is excellent.   Just wish they'd get off the "everything organic" kick.

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This country has to reverse the trend. We have to take back our own destinies.

 

The monster is self consuming. Flood the market with cheap (price and quality) rip-offs and people will "shop with their wallet". Continue that trend and the good stuff disappears along with the jobs, tax revenues, and innovations.

 

Sad about the clamps...sad about all of the "quality" tools that have disappeared. We did it to ourselves and continue on that track. Pretty soon, Harbor Freight quality will be the best available.

 

I remember back in the 70's, when all of the nails and fasteners started to show up in the BB stores from off-shore. I cursed every time a nail bent over when it was hit, or a fastener snapped or cammed out. We accepted that because "they were the only fasteners available". Well, they're not the only ones available! They are the ones that are convenient to buy. "Honey, I'm going to HD/Lowe's to get some screws" was the mantra.

 

In many cases there are still US manufacturers making quality nails, screws, bolts, etc. You just have to order and wait for them to be delivered. In most cases, they are not only better quality, but the prices are equal to, or in some cases cheaper then the off-shore products from the BB stores.

 

We need to wake up as a country and start taking our lives back.

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On 5/14/2018 at 4:26 PM, kmealy said:

Haven't watched this all yet, but a PBS documentary on the Stanley Works

Thanks Keith. Great post!

I finally was able to sit down and watch this. Awesome story. I found it captivating.

This should be a required video and course of study for every BSM/MSM program in the country.

 

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What was a reminder for me is the post WWII industrial boom.  Lead up to the war got us on our way out of the depression*.   After the war, most major countries were either in shambles or broke.  Or both.  America built up its industrial base.  I grew up in the '50s in what is now the rust belt.

 

* For a view, take a look at Google's Popular Mechanics magazine archive from the late '30s & early '40s.

 

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1 hour ago, Dadio said:

Did I hear HF?

 

Go Harbor Freight!!!!

 

Herb

I was wondering how long it would take you to notice! :D

John

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6 hours ago, kmealy said:

now the rust belt.

I wear one of those most every day:P

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You know HF aside, But there is another side to this that ought to be aired. If we did away with all the import traffic, there would be a lot of people put out of jobs. They are not highly skilled machinists and mechanics, they are truck drivers, forklift and crane operators,dock workers,sales people,property rental, business men that put this altogether, and they hire secretaries, data people, IT people etc. and the list goes on. These are our people who have families and are trying to eek out a living too.

I think that both can exist, all it requires is a level playing field, they buy our, we buy theirs, but that is for the politicians to figure out.

Herb

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I worked for a very prominent, high quality paint manufacturer (name withheld to protect the innocent) and it was described to me that it would NEVER put paint in the big boxes because they were NOT going to be dictated for selling price...

 

@schnewj  Bill...excellent points...

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39 minutes ago, Nickp said:

I worked for a very prominent, high quality paint manufacturer (name withheld to protect the innocent) and it was described to me that it would NEVER put paint in the big boxes because they were NOT going to be dictated for selling price...

 

@schnewj  Bill...excellent points...

So..........did they?  Are they still around? hope so.

Herb

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I have always bought American made tools.  I don't think I have spent $200 at Harbor Freight all told. 

 

As far as Walmart is concerned.  I think if they went out of business tomorrow the country would feel it.  Not many choices for department styles store still open around here.  I still try to "not" buy from them.

Edited by HandyDan

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32 minutes ago, HandyDan said:

I have always bought American made tools.  I don't think I have spent $200 at Harbor Freight all told. 

 

As far as Walmart is concerned.  I think if they went out of business tomorrow the country would feel it.  Not many choices for department styles store still open around here.  I still try to "not" buy from them.

I'm all for competition and Capitalism. And, the somewhat free people that we are, we can exercise choice....when it's available. Walmart is not usually my choice, either. 

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I have noticed in recent months that HF has been adding higher priced items along with their cheaper stuff, they send out catalogs, and seem to be operating just like Sears Roebuck did for so many years. For instance: Craftsman vs. cheaper brand tools. I do buy a few things from HF, but not much. It seems that they are trying to reach out to customers that want better quality products, so maybe they are listening to customers and trying to supply goods that work.

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On 5/18/2018 at 3:08 PM, HandyDan said:

I have always bought American made tools.  I don't think I have spent $200 at Harbor Freight all told. 

 

As far as Walmart is concerned.  I think if they went out of business tomorrow the country would feel it.  Not many choices for department styles store still open around here.  I still try to "not" buy from them.

Well, Wally and Sam came in years ago and put all the MOM and Pops , and the old established stores out of business,and the bigger ones became all-in-one stores to compete. Then the Super sized stores, we have a Wallys World here that I swear it takes 2 days to walk from one side to the other, like putting 2-3 Lowes together.

They say what goes around comes around, now Amazon has taken the challenge,and Wally's is the one with tears in their eyes. Not in my eyes, I never shopped a Wallys after the first time, too many people in sandals and stinky feet.

Herb

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On 5/18/2018 at 1:36 PM, Dadio said:

So..........did they?  Are they still around? hope so.

Herb

Do not supply paint to big box...and yes, very much still around...

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