PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Sept. 23, 2015) — TBC Corp. has begun offering Goodyear Weatherhandler Fuel Max tires — which are the subject of a lawsuit filed a year ago by Goodyear against Sears, Roebuck & Co. — through TBC's NTB and Tire Kingdom stores in Florida and Texas.
Goodyear sued Sears and two Sears subsidiaries in October 2014 in Akron federal district court, alleging breach of contract in the matter of nearly 220,000 co-branded tires Goodyear had made for sale in Sears stores.
According to Akron-based Goodyear's complaint, the tire maker and Sears signed an agreement in 2009 for Goodyear to produce co-branded tires to be sold exclusively by Sears. The contract went according to plan until June 2014, Goodyear said, when Sears informed the company that it had hired a new tire supplier and would accept no more tires from Goodyear, despite allegedly telling Goodyear in January 2014 it intended to buy more than 330,000 co-branded tires during 2014.
The tire maker seeks damages equal to the agreed-upon price of the co-branded tires — estimated at more than $18.9 million.
NTB and Tire Kingdom tweeted out earlier this week that they are offering Weatherhandler Fuel Max tires at stores in Florida and Texas at a buy two, get two offer.
TBC said in reply to a query from Tire Business that it's offering the tires in Florida and Texas “based on the concentration of stores in those areas,” but that its effort may expand into other markets.
Goodyear's suit against Sears is still pending.
In a statement, Goodyear said it is “operating within all contractual commitments with Sears but will not comment on the details of pending litigation.”
In a filing with the court on June 1, Goodyear noted that while the co-brand agreement with Sears “prohibits Goodyear from selling the co-branded tires to anyone other than Sears or a Sears affiliate,” it noted that the agreement's language “expressly contemplates that there may be another agreement or other agreements governing the purchase/sale of the co-branded tires.”
Goodyear also referenced a clause in the same agreement that allowed either party to terminate the agreement by giving the other party 180 days' written notice.