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SEARS OPENS 'OFFICE CENTERS' IN 14 NORTHERN OHIO, WESTERN PA. STORES

SEARS OPENS 'OFFICE CENTERS' IN 14 NORTHERN OHIO, WESTERN PA. STORES
 HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Sears Merchandise Group announced it will open "Office Center at Sears Brand Central" home-office equipment departments in nine Sears retail stores in the Cleveland, Akron and Canton areas and five in greater Pittsburgh stores Nov. 6.
 The new Office Centers in Ohio are in Sears stores located in Akron (Rolling Acres and Chapel Hill), Canton, Elyria, Mentor, Middleburg Heights, Richmond Heights, North Olmsted and North Randall. In Western Pennsylvania, Office Centers will open in Sears stores in Pittsburgh (Ross Park, South Hills Village and Penn Center), Monaca, and West Mifflin.
 With these new openings, Sears now has Office Center departments in 156 of its retail stores around the country. Brand Central said these installations conclude its 1992 roll-out plans for the Office Center.
 "We selected these markets for the new merchandising format primarily because of the areas' strong demands for office and computing equipment among small businesses and home-office users," said Ed Hearne, national merchandise manager for Sears Brand Central.
 "The specialized format offers customers top name brands, night and weekend shopping convenience, and knowledgeable sales associates who have gone through weeks of product training," Hearne said.
 The Office Center is an in-store department that focuses specifically on the needs of small businesspeople, telecommuters and people who work in home-base businesses by offering about 85 name brands of office equipment and accessories.
 "At Office Centers, customers benefit from Sears long-standing commitment to satisfaction guaranteed, our pricing pledge and the SearsCharge line of credit," Hearne said.
 An Office Center department occupies an average of about 2,000 square feet of selling floor space and is within Sears Brand Central, the retailer's home appliances and consumer electronics superstore. Office Centers specialize in selling and servicing desktop and laptop computers, printers, software, word processors, facsimile machines, office telephones, cellular telephones, answering machines, calculators and equipment accessories.
 Apple, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Motorola, Packard-Bell and Xerox are a few of the name brands offered at Office Centers.
 Estimates indicate that about 39 million Americans currently work from home, a 9.4 percent increase over 1991 figures.
 "The Office Center departments strategically position Sears to serve this growing market," Hearne said.
 "People running home-based businesses or working at home usually don't have time during the workday to shop for equipment. For their convenience, Office Centers are open nights and weekends and are staffed with trained, knowledgeable account executives who help customers find the right equipment for their specific business needs," Hearne said.
 Office Center account executives participate in a comprehensive, four-week training program addressing products and customer applications.
 -0- 11/5/92
 /CONTACT: Perry D. Chlan, manager-media relations of Sears Merchandise Group, 708-286-7079/
 (S) CO: Sears, Roebuck and Co. ST: Illinois IN: REA SU:


SH -- NY048 -- 3000 11/05/92 10:50 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 5, 1992
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