CHICAGO—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 car and light truck tires at its 234 Auto Express stores across the U.S.
These additions expand the number of major brands carried by Montgomery Ward to seven, joining Bridgestone, Firestone, Goodyear and General. The MAST agreement also covers MAST associate brands.
Ward also carries some "no-name" private brands. a supply agreement with Hoosier Tire Corp. lapsed at year-end 1999.
"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," Michelin said in a statement.
"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.
Prior to the supply lapse in 1998, Michelin had supplied Ward with tires for more than 20 years.
Michelin declined to say how much new business it expects the new relationship to generate.
Two other mass merchandisers, Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., also carry MAST brands.