CHICAGO (July 17, 2002) — Sears, Roebuck & Co. has notified Continental Tire North America Inc. that it will stop carrying the Continental tire brand at its Sears Auto Centers and National Tire & Battery (NTB) outlets.
“This was a business decision, based on the perception that the Conti brand no longer fits our needs,” said a Sears spokeswoman, who declined to elaborate. “We will continue to special-order Conti tires to meet our customer needs.”
While Sears never gives out sales numbers, the spokeswoman said, she did say the Conti brand was a very small percentage of the tires Sears and NTB sell, as well as a small percentage of the tires they bought from Conti.
Mike Barker, Conti vice president of replacement sales and marketing, also declined to discuss tire numbers involving Sears and NTB. The General brand, however, comprises more than 90 percent of Conti's sales to the retailers, he said.
“Sears is an excellent customer, doing an excellent job with the General tire brand,” Mr. Barker said. “We support what they're doing, and we don't expect any loss of sales from it. In fact, we expect to gain in sales from their renewed focus on the General brand.”