HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (March 27, 2001) — Sears, Roebuck and Co. is taking over 18 former Montgomery Wards department stores — including three with automotive service centers — plus 10 freestanding auto centers.
Sears expects to finalize the transactions by mid-April and plans to remodel and reopen the former Wards retail locations into Sears Auto Centers by the spring of 2002.
Terms of the agreements were not disclosed. A total of 3,000 employees are affected by the deal, Sears said.
Sears declined to comment on reports of further store purchases.
"By expanding our retail and product service businesses through the acquisition of selected Wards assets, Sears has an opportunity to build market share in several lines of our business," Sears Chairman and CEO Alan J. Lacy said in a prepared statement.
The 10 freestanding Wards auto centers are in: Albuquerque, N.M.; Fort Worth, Texas; Annapolis, Bel Air and Hagerstown, Md.; Glendale and Phoenix, Ariz.; North Riverside, Ill.; Pueblo, Colo.; and San Jose, Calif.
Those attached to larger stores are in Manassas, Va., Meadville, Pa., and Peru, Ill.