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SEARS, GOODYEAR ANNOUNCE TIRE MARKETING AGREEMENT

 SEARS, GOODYEAR ANNOUNCE TIRE MARKETING AGREEMENT
 CHICAGO, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Two American automotive leaders --


Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: GT) -- today announced a major new relationship in which Sears will sell a full line of Goodyear tires in more than 850 Sears Tire and Auto Centers beginning April 1.
 Edward A. Brennan, Sears chairman and chief executive officer, and Stanley C. Gault, Goodyear chairman and chief executive officer, said that Sears will sell Goodyear's high-performance Eagle tires, all-season Arriva and Corsa GT lines and Wrangler light truck tires.
 Sears is the nation's leading retailer of tires and batteries. Goodyear is the largest tire supplier to the U.S. replacement market and domestic car manufacturers with about one-third of the business.
 Brennan called the addition of the Goodyear brand "a major development in Sears ongoing power format merchandising strategy to bring the best in both national name brand and house brands to the American consumer." Sears currently carries more than 1,000 national brands.
 Sears completed the nationwide power format rollout of its Tire and Auto Centers in 1991. It offers more than 50 national brands of automotive products, including Sears top-selling RoadHandler and DieHard house brands. The centers offer key services for autos and light trucks and are located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The centers have 12,500 service bays and are staffed by more than 32,000 associates who have earned 14,000 Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications.
 The agreement calls for Sears to distribute and sell the Goodyear tires, utilizing five strategically located Goodyear distribution centers and its North American passenger and light truck tire plants. The distribution centers are located in Chicago, Los Angeles, North Brunswick, N.J., Dallas and Gadsden, Ala., near Atlanta. Tires destined for Sears will be manufactured in Lawton, Okla.; Gadsden, Ala.; Union City, Tenn.; Valleyfield, Quebec; and Napanee, Ontario.
 Gault said, "It is especially satisfying that Sears could select the only major American-owned tire brand name left on the U.S. scene to continue its major brand strategy -- from the same supplier that 65 years ago helped propel Sears into the mass merchandising retail tire business.
 The Sears-Goodyear relationship dates back to 1927 when, after Sears had experienced unprecedented success in selling more than 3 million tires annually through its retail outlets, in addition to its mail order sales, it turned to Goodyear as its sole supplier.
 As the auto and tire industries grew through the years, Sears eventually moved toward its own and other brands of tires made by private brand manufacturers. Goodyear, meanwhile, became increasingly involved in supplying the burgeoning U.S. auto industry and its own fast-growing retail distribution channels.
 Gault said that the decision to join again with Sears in moving into mass merchandising tire channels "can only further strengthen the Goodyear brand and Goodyear itself as a supplier to its loyal dealer network."
 Gault said research data indicates that Goodyear brand tire sales through Sears auto service centers largely will be replacing Goodyear tires that came on new cars -- "sales that we've been missing because we were not represented in the Sears automotive centers.
 "These were sales going to our dealers' competitors," he said, "because the remarkable loyalty of Sears customers led them to buy the best tire for their needs from among those offered by Sears. Even though they were replacing our brand on their cars, Goodyear tires -- until now -- weren't among the replacement choices for them. We have gained a natural synergy."
 Gault said that Sears tire customers would now have the choice "of a quality American-owned brand name, backed by Goodyear's commitment to state-of-the-science tire technology and quality; leading-edge tire developments proven on auto race tracks around the world ... and even identity with a few other notable American icons -- our new and colorful Goodyear blimps."
 -0- 3/3/92
 /CONTACT: Gerald E. Buldak of Sears, 312-875-8371/
 (S GT) CO: Sears, Roebuck and Co.; Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. ST: Illinois, Ohio IN: AUT REA SU: SH -- NY039 -- 4530 03/03/92 14:02 EST
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 3, 1992
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