HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.—Prepare yourself for the aggressive side of Sears. This summer the company will start converting its NTW and Tire America stand-alone sites to a new format that, according to Sears, Roebuck and Co. spokesman Bob McHenry, will involve a complete redesign of the existing outlets plus the addition of some new stores over the next three to four years.
As reported in the Feb. 17 issue of TIRE BUSINESS, Sears told analysts that by the end of the century it plans to operate about 1,400 tire stores and auto centers—a gain of almost 350, mostly in its so-called off-the-mall format.
The as-yet unnamed new tire stores will be unveiled March 19 in Chicago.
As a continuation of the realignment of its automotive group, the retailing giant also will convert more than 240 company-owned Western Auto stores to its Parts America retail format, and add up to 100 new stores this year.
In a second phase, about 350 new parts-only stores will be added by 1999. The 88-year-old Western Auto chain also will exit the Jacksonville, Fla., and Dallas markets, closing a total of 25 stores.
Mr. McHenry said 850 associate Western Auto stores—which can include anything from a full automotive center to a bait-and-tackle shop—won't be affected by the multi-million-dollar realignment.