It seems ecommerce is no longer just a sales sidebar for one of the oldest and most recognized names in U.S. manufacturing.
Last year ecommerce sales for Stanley Black & Decker Inc., a toolmaker in business for more than 176 years, topped $1 billion.
What’s more, Stanley Black & Decker intends to make ecommerce in all forms—business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C))—a corporate and global strategic priority.
Ecommerce is critical to global growth
While not going into great detail, Stanley CEO James Loree says the New Britain, Connecticut-based manufacturer is rapidly expanding its ecommerce workforce, cutting more deals with various partners such as marketplaces to grow online sales overseas and doing better and more targeted digital marketing. “Globally, ecommerce represents a key growth driver, with our 2018 online revenue at $1 billion and with a strong complement of omnichannel and pure online content and global,” Loree told analysts and attendees during his presentation on the company’s recent investor’s day. “Our global retailers are well-positioned, and we are the industry leader in ecommerce and believe the opportunities will continue to grow in both emerging and developed markets.”
Last year Stanley, which manufactures such well-known tool brands as Black & Decker, Craftsman, DeWalt, Irwin and Stanley, posted total sales of $13.98 billion, an increase of 7.9% from sales of $12.96 billion in 2017.
In 2018 web sales, represented about 7.2% of total revenue and grew “at high double-digit rates,” the company says. “Ecommerce is the number one growth opportunity for us,” Stanley senior vice president and president of global emerging markets Jaime Ramirez told investor day attendees. “We want to be number one in the tool segment for ecommerce by partnering with key customers and by deploying an omnichannel strategy—we see ecommerce as the opportunity for exponential growth in emerging markets.” Stanley currently operates about 30 manufacturing facilities in the United States, including three in Connecticut, with more than 100 manufacturing facilities globally, the company says.
Plans to expand ecommerce staff
To expand ecommerce, the company is hiring and now has a staff of more than 150 ecommerce and digital technology specialists. “We have hired more than 150 digital and ecommerce experts across all the markets,” Ramirez said at the investor conference. “So e-commerce is a global strategy executed locally market-by-market. We do ecommerce in every single market across global emerging markets (GEM).
Stanley also is spending heavily to invest in new digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and internet-of-things technology to expedite more efficient manufacturing and product support across all of its lines of business. A key part of our journey is leading into the age of disruption with rapid innovation and digital transformation,” Loree said. “In this regard, we increased the research-and-development expenditures again in 2018 to $276 million, a 47% increase over the previous 3-year period.”
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