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December 6, 2022

Stanley Black & Decker shutters downtown Hartford innovation center

Photo | Contributed Stanley Black & Decker's 'Manufactory 4.0' showroom at One Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford.

In another setback to downtown Hartford’s post-pandemic recovery, Stanley Black & Decker has shuttered its center-city advanced manufacturing innovation center and put the space on the market for sublease, the company confirmed to the Hartford Business Journal. 

Called “Manufactory 4.0,” Stanley’s Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence occupied 23,000 square feet of space at One Constitution Plaza. The facility debuted in 2019, right before the pandemic, to much fanfare. It aimed to make Hartford an innovation hub for advanced manufacturing and hosted startups as part of the STANLEY+Techstars advanced manufacturing accelerator program.

However, Stanley announced in September 2021 that the Techstars accelerator program was moving to Baltimore after taking place in Hartford the previous three years. 

Stanley confirmed Tuesday morning it closed the downtown Hartford facility in November and has put the space up for sublease. The move comes amid several cost-cutting measures the New Britain-based power tools and lawn equipment maker has implemented over the past year as it faces challenges related to consumer and European demand as well as inflation.

The Hartford Business Journal reported in July that Stanley was planning to trim expenses by up to $200 million by the end of this year, $1 billion by the end of next year and $2 billion within three years.

The cuts have included layoffs in Connecticut and elsewhere. The company has also made a number of M&A deals.

In a statement on Tuesday, Stanley said: “The company is aiming to be a more simplified organization, which will bring us closer to our customers. By integrating our two largest businesses, Tools & Outdoor, we are able to focus on our core franchise businesses where we have leading brands and the largest growth opportunities. With this change, corporate centers of excellence (like the Manufactory) are being brought into the businesses. Advanced manufacturing remains a core focus for the organization and will be prioritized at each facility around the globe.”

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