Transformco, the owner of Sears and Kmart stores, has sold the DieHard brand to Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) for $200 million. Under the announced all-cash transaction, Transformco will still have rights to sell DieHard products at Sears. Advance Auto Parts plans to replace its private label battery AutoCraft with DieHard batteries.
Sears launched DieHard more than 50 years ago in 1967. DieHard auto batteries were designed with extra starting power and had a reputation for performance and durability under challenging conditions. Today, a variety of products are sold under the name, including DieHard-brand battery chargers, jump starters, flashlights, alkaline batteries, work boots, and tires.
Buying the popular battery brand will help drive growth for Advance Auto Parts. DieHard auto batteries will be available at the auto supply store chain’s more than 4,800 stores and through its partnership with Walmart Inc. in an automotive store that launched earlier this year. Advance Auto Parts’ do-it-yourself (DIY) business is also expected to benefit from the acquisition.
This is not the first time Sears has sold one of its popular brands. In 2017, it sold its 90-year-old Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker for more than $900 million. After coming out of bankruptcy earlier this year, the company indicated that it was interested in selling more of its brands.
Sears and Kmart have closed more than 3,500 stores and cut about 250,000 jobs over the last 15 years. In February 2020, another 51 Sears and 45 Kmart locations will be closed. After those closings are complete, 182 stores are expected to remain.