Locksmith magazine Article
That household name ‘Chubb’ is to disappear from the mainstream locksmithing markets. Following lengthy negotiations UTC (A subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, UTC Fire and Security) have refused to re-license the brand name or even sell it to ASSA ABLOY. The current agreement for UK locks runs out late in 2010. Although their custodial locks will continue. So what does this mean for the UK locksmith? It will probably mean referring to ‘the lock formally known as Chubb’ as the Chubb brand will be replaced with other leading ASSA ABLOY brands on most locks and secondary security products by August 2010. The locks will continue to be manufactured and readily available, and only the name will change.
ASSA ABLOY stresses that the products will use the same technology, the same parts and will be manufactured by the same people in the same factories, to the same quality. The only difference will be the name, which is why the locks will continue to be ‘Chubb at Heart’. The exception will be the range of specialist detention locks sold by Chubb Locks Custodial Services Ltd, mainly to prisons, the police and other high security operations, which will continue to use the Chubb brand at least until 2100.
The agreements also stop any other company manufacturing or selling locks under the Chubb brand. In addition, a number of patents and trademarks, including the bow design and product codes, are owned by ASSA ABLOY, so no competitor will be able to market a Chubb ‘look a like’ and pass it off.
The company is planning a full communications campaign to make sure all customers are kept fully up to date with progress on the transition from the Chubb brand. There is a special website at www.chubb-at-heart.co.uk which will have the latest news.
Announcing the development, ASSA ABLOY’s Business Development Director Paul Browne, said:
“We know the Chubb name has a long tradition and loyal customer following so in an ideal world, we would have continued with the brand, but we also understand UTC’s decision. The two organisations have an amicable relationship and both want a smooth transition.
At the same time, we are very excited at the prospect of continuing to offer locksmiths the best of Chubb quality and heritage under the equally powerful and important brand names we have in ASSA ABLOY.
We are still finalising the details of which Chubb products will transition to which brands but expect to announce this shortly, ready to roll out in early to mid 2010, so there is no rush or confusion for customers. This is a great opportunity to give our ranges and brands greater clarity and to back them with an extensive range of promotional and support services for locksmiths, especially those working with the Chubb Super Centre concept.
In summary, although we recognise this will be a surprise for customers, the reality is that nothing will really change other than the name.”
Paul added: “There is no time limit on the sale of the Chubb branded locks by our customers and there is no need for them to remove Chubb signs or point of sale, although we will be developing attractive new materials as Chubb products migrate to their new brands. We will keep all customers fully informed of progress and in the meantime, there is absolutely no need for locksmiths to do anything different. They can continue to buy Chubb products and be confident we will continue to support them long past August 2010 and into the future, honouring all warranties.”
I had a long chat to both Dion McAlister and the PR team at the MLA Expo, even got a free coffee! There is a mixture of sadness and elation. Sad because it has happened and elated that there is a new future. I noticed that there were a few sad faces during the MLA Expo but all things change and the strong pro-locksmith team at ASSA ABLOY should see this turn into a great new brand image for the UK. I know Dion is keen for this to work and if anyone can make it work it is him and a strong team. He has after all managed to integrate all the brands under one banner with only minor hiccups. I look forward to the new Era oooh sorry asabloyale J.