CHICAGO (Mar. 8, 2000)— Montgomery Ward Inc. and Michelin Americas Small Tires have renewed a supply agreement that lapsed two years ago over account share and supply issues. As a result, Montgomery Ward recently began stocking selected Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal brand passenger and light truck tires at its 234 Auto Express stores across the U.S.
The Michelin, BFGoodrich and Uniroyal brands expand the number of major brands carried by Montgomery Ward to seven, joining Bridgestone, Firestone and Goodyear. The MAST agreement also covers MAST associated brands. Ward also carries some ``non-name´´ private brands.
``Ward´s retail outlet distribution represents an excellent opportunity for MAST to increase market share nationwide, and, more specifically, in markets where we are underdeveloped,´´ according to a statement from Michelin.
``Ward´s has changed its market approach to be more of a value-added service retailer,´´ the company said. ``This includes a change in all their Auto Express locations, which will be designed with a more dominant tire focus and fresher look.
``This shift in market approach is in line with the MAST consumer and a key reason we have renewed our business relationship with Montgomery Ward,´´ Michelin said.
MAST´s agreement with Mongomery Ward is its third with a mass merchandiser. Both Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. carry MAST brands. With 1,017 Sears Auto Centers and National Tire & Battery locations, Sears claims to be the largest retailer of Michelin tires in the U.S.
Michelin declined to say how much new business it expects the new relationship to generate.