Woodworkers, carpenters, mechanics, lawn and garden enthusiasts and DIYers of all skill levels have reason to celebrate.The Craftsman brand has opened the Craftsman Experience, a downtown Chicago venue that combines hands-on project stations, live demos and clinics and a one-of-a-kind Craftsman retail store that bring visitors closer than ever to one of America’s most well-known brands of tools.
Can’t make it to the store at 233 W. Huron in Chicago’s downtown River North neighborhood? Don’t worry. Craftsman Tools has gone high-tech. Built with an internet audience in mind, the Craftsman Experience will stream special events live over the Web and serve as the studio for an internet-based radio station.
“The Craftsman Experience is a truly unique venue that will bring our products to life for those who step inside and those who join us via the internet,” said Guenther Trieb, president of the Craftsman brand, Sears Holdings. “This is the latest in a series of strategic moves by each of our brands – Craftsman, DieHard and Kenmore – to get closer to our customers. The ‘Experience’ expands access to Craftsman for existing and new, younger customers. We’ve already had success with customer outreach — Craftsman and DieHard have launched viral videos which dramatically demonstrate how our products can endure torture tests. And the Kenmore Live Studio has driven its fan base on Facebook to over 100,000 — a fan number that Craftsman recently surpassed as well, even before the ‘Experience’ opens.”
“To fully appreciate our products, you need to be able to touch, feel and test them for yourself and see them in action through a wide variety of projects,” said Kris Malkoski, vice president and general manager of the Craftsman brand. “The Craftsman Experience is a location that allows us to create that level of interaction.”
Visitors to the Craftsman Experience will find hands-on activities and clinics at three unique project stations highlighting woodworking tools, automotive and mechanics tools, and lawn and garden products. Project experts will walk visitors through the features and benefits of various tools, allow them to test them out for themselves, and showcase everyday applications. Other specialists will appear at the Craftsman Experience for special events and clinics that will put Craftsman products to the test in unexpected ways.
Broadcasting live from the Craftsman Experience, an internet-based radio station will keep fans updated on all the happenings inside, featuring interviews with special guests and project experts. Fans can call in or participate in online Q and A during the live broadcasts. A Craftsman retail store will also allow Craftsman fans to take home product innovations to help them get started on their next project.
If you have a computer and an internet connection, you’ve got a ticket to the Craftsman Experience. When the Experience is open, the lights and cameras come on, sharing the clinics and special programs with online viewers via streaming video. Sessions will also be available on Facebook.com/Craftsman through archived footage for those who missed a favorite presenter.
The Craftsman Experience will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Visitors to Craftsman.com can find a schedule of events that will be broadcast online.
For more than 80 years, the Craftsman brand has developed innovative products. The Craftsman brand was ranked as the most trusted tool brand in America in the 2008 Harris Interactive Equitrend Brand Study. For more information, log on to www.craftsman.com.