Freedonia Hand and Power Tool Expert Weighs in on Chinese Company’s Plan to Acquire Leading US Staple Gun Manufacturer

American tool manufacturers, particularly those making hand tools, have been hit hard by competition from lower cost imports from China and other parts of Asia.  Foreign companies are also making inroads in the US market by buying American tool producers and their well-known brand names.  For example, Hangzhou GreatStar Industrial, a Chinese manufacturer of hand and power tools, recently announced plans to acquire Arrow Fastener – a US producer of manual and electric staplers, electric nail guns, glue guns, rivet tools, and associated fasteners – from Masco.  Arrow makes the world’s best-selling manual staple gun, the T50, at a plant in Saddle Brook, New Jersey.  GreatStar reports that the T50 and other Arrow products will continue to be made at the same facility, which will also become a primary distribution center for GreatStar’s other products.  The transaction is expected to close in midyear 2017.

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“This is a smart move on GreatStar’s part,” reports Freedonia industry analyst Reta Sober.  In addition to using the Arrow brand name to market its other products, GreatStar can utilize Arrow’s sales and distribution network to strengthen its competitive position in the US.  Arrow will also benefit from GreatStar’s international marketing capabilities, boosting its export sales.  “It’s too early to know how this will all play out,” says Sober, “but the net effect is likely to be an increase in the size of the US trade deficit in hand and power tools.”

The US is the largest hand and power tool market in the world, and product sales in the country will continue to grow.  Demand is forecast to climb 3% annually through 2020, according to Freedonia Group hand and power tool studies written by Sober.  Power tools will post faster market advances than hand tools, bolstered by the productivity gains they can provide in building construction, light assembly work, and machinery repair and maintenance.

The Freedonia Group’s Hand Tools and Power Tools studies can be accessed here:

A new Freedonia study on the Global Power Tool Market will be published later this month.