Why you can't necessarily call a spade a spade if you got it from Argos or Homebase
Here's a joke for you...
Q: When is a Qualcast mower not necessarily a Qualcast mower?
A: When it’s bought from Argos or Homebase.
Granted, that wasn’t the funniest joke ever, but then the story behind it isn’t all that funny either. Did you know that if you buy Qualcast or Spear & Jackson gardening products from a Home Retail Group outlet (Argos and Homebase being the main ones), chances are that you’ll get something that wasn’t actually made by Qualcast or Spear & Jackson?
That’s because they’ve licensed their brand names to the Home Retail Group so that Home can use those well-established and well-respected names on a range of their own-brand products. Which to put it politely, is a bit shifty innit?
It gets even more confusing, because Argos and Homebase also stock actual, genuine Qualcast and Spear & Jackson products alongside the own-brand stuff that carries the licensed branding. Erm, okay.
Bosch (owners of Qualcast) told Which! ‘'Our Qualcast cylinder lawnmowers are distinguishable by different packaging, length of warranty period and after-sales service telephone numbers.’ Oh – that’s alright then. Which! say that the packaging looks very similar on all of the Qualcast products so we don’t know what to believe now!
About the Qualcast offering in Argos and Homebase, Which! Gardening! business researcher Jessica O’Leary says: “The only Qualcast mowers that are manufactured by Bosch (Qualcast) are the following cylinder mowers: the Qualcast Concorde 32, the Qualcast Elan 32 and Panther 30 and Panther 380 mowers. Anything else on sale at Argos or Homebase are their own brand products."
As for Spear & Jackson, Jessica informs us that: “All petrol or electric tools bearing the Spear & Jackson logos on sale at Argos or Homebase are own-brand products - ie they are not made by Spear & Jackson. However all Spear & Jackson hand tools on sale at these stores are made by Spear & Jackson.”
So write all of that down on the back of your hand next time you’re out and about and shopping for gardening equipment. It’s not complicated really when you think about it...
EDIT: Yes, we realise that the headline doesn't really make much sense in relation to the story and could potentially be actionable. Thank you.