Embattled Sears resolves its spat with power-tool vendor One World

Key Points
  • Sears CEO Eddie Lampert blogged last month that One World was attempting to "take advantage of negative rumors about Sears." The retailer later sued the company.
  • Monday, Sears updated Lampert's post, saying that "the matter has been resolved."
  • Sears will continue its relationship with One World, which makes power tools under the Craftsman brand.
A man walks by a Sears store.
Andy Clark | Reuters

After publicly rebuking and suing the maker of Craftsman tools last month, Sears Monday updated Chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert's May 15 blog post with a notice that said the matter was resolved.

"The matter has been resolved to the mutual satisfaction of both parties and we look forward to continuing our relationship with One World," the statement read.

Neither company was available immediately for comment. Further details of the new agreement were not made public.

On Tuesday, Business Insider reported that Lampert's blog post had been updated.

One World Technologies, a China-based subsidiary of Techtronic Industries, was the focal point of Lampert's accusations in his original post. He wrote that the vendor was attempting to "take advantage of negative rumors about Sears." Lampert alleged that One World was an example of a company trying to cut a deal "that is unilaterally in their interest."

Sears won't roll over for vendors

"For over nine years, One World has enjoyed significant benefits from its relationship with Sears — we have paid One World more than $868 million since 2007," Lampert wrote.

The same day the post was published, Sears filed a lawsuit against One World in Illinois courts, claiming that the tool vendor threatened to cancel its contract with Sears.

The embattled department store chain has been burning through cash at a rapid pace as it tries to revive its business in the face of deteriorating sales. The retailer said it has been working with suppliers to try to ensure its level of credit risk is "both affordable and appropriate."

In March, Sears disclosed in a federal filing that there was "substantial doubt" about its ability to "continue as a going concern." That statement, which was required by regulators, stoked fears that a bankruptcy was imminent.

In May, Lampert promised its shareholders that Sears "will do what's right to protect the interests of our company."

Shares of Sears are down 3 percent in midday trading on Tuesday.

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