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Sears to sue power tools vendor One World over contractual dispute

RBR Staff Writer Published 16 May 2017

US retailer Sears is likely to file a lawsuit against One World, its power tools supplier, for allegedly not fulfilling their supply contract and making unreasonable demands.

One World is a subsidiary of China-based Techtronic Industries and is a manufacturer of a range of power tools and associated accessories for Sears under the Craftsman brand.

Sears has been supplied with the tools for nine years for which it has paid over $868m to One World.

Sears Holdings chairman and CEO Edward Lampert in the company blog accused One World of taking unfair advantage of negative rumors of Sears’ financial health and threatening to dishonor the supply agreement unless its “unreasonable” demands are agreed.

He further revealed that the Chinese firm had even threatened to file a lawsuit against Sears while trying to walk out of the contract.

The Sears CEO said that the company will not simply give up and allow it to be taken advantage of. He further stated that the management will do whatever is right to protect the interests of Sears and its stakeholders.

Lampert wrote: “If we allowed One World to break their agreement, it would effectively reduce the flow of products they are required to deliver to Sears, harming our ability to sell tools, supply parts, and provide goods to Sears’ members and customers. We won’t allow that to happen.

“We are generally not a litigious company, but we will fight back to protect our legal rights, hold One World to its contractual agreements, and ensure that our customers are not affected by this business dispute.”

In January, Sears announced its decision to close 150 stores that were not making profits. During the same time, it also announced the divestiture of the Craftsman tools business brand to Stanley Black & Decker.

Image: Sears Holdings to sue One World over breach of a supply agreement. Photo: courtesy of Sears Brands, LLC.