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SEARS PLANS ABOUT 350 SMALL RETAIL DEALER STORES

 HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Sears Merchandise Group said today it plans to convert by the end of this year about 350 former catalog sales stores to new, small retail stores that will be operated by independent dealers and offer customers appliances, electronics and lawn and garden equipment.
 The announcement follows a two-month analysis of the new retail format. When Sears announced on Jan. 25 that it was discontinuing its traditional U.S. catalog operations, it also said at that time it was evaluating parts of its independent catalog store network as retail selling locations in certain markets.
 "As we made the difficult decision to discontinue our traditional catalog business, we also looked at ways to continue to serve our loyal customers in key profitable markets," said Arthur C. Martinez, Sears Merchandise Group chairman and chief executive officer. "We have received hundreds of calls and letters from customers in smaller markets who have traded with Sears for years asking us to remain as a part of their community. We believe this new retail format will offer our customers the merchandise they want, such as our popular Kenmore and Craftsman products and other national brands, while providing a profitable business opportunity for Sears and the independent owners."
 The new Sears retail dealers will display a selection of hardlines merchandise and stock certain popular-selling models. Dealers can also order for customers certain other models of hardlines merchandise not displayed in the small stores but available at larger Sears retail stores. Sears will deliver the merchandise to the small stores where the customer can either pick it up or arrange personal delivery with the store owner to their home. Product literature on the full line of house brand and national brand hardlines merchandise will be available for customer review at the new stores.
 The new dealer stores will have 3,000 to 5,000 square feet of selling space and will be owned by independent dealers who will operate on a commission for merchandise sold. These dealer stores will be supported by the Sears retail network, including systems, point-of-sale terminals, distribution, training, and Sears national marketing and advertising programs. The stores will accept SearsCharge, Discover Card, VISA and MasterCard, as well as personal checks and cash for payment.
 The dealer stores will be part of Sears Home Group, headed by Marvin M. Stern, president.
 Martinez said Sears considered several factors when identifying the new store markets, including customer demographic data, previous catalog store revenues, and proximity to the nearest Sears retail store.
 Each store is expected to generate about $1 million in revenues annually.
 Sears is inviting certain former catalog store owners from these markets to meetings later this month to discuss the new format and determine their interest in operating the stores. These previous owners will be given the first opportunity to operate the stores before Sears solicits other owners.
 The retail dealer stores will offer major home appliances from Kenmore, Amana, General Electric, KitchenAid, Tappan and Whirlpool; vacuums from Kenmore, Eureka, and Hoover; consumer electronics from Series LXI, Gold Star, Hitachi, Philips/Magnavox, Pioneer, RCA, Sanyo/Fisher, Sony and Zenith; and Craftsman lawn and garden equipment.
 Sears Retail Dealer Store Markets
 ALABAMA (10)
 Albertville, Andalusia, Athens, Cullman, Fort Payne, Jasper,
 Lanett, Ozark, Scottsboro, Sylacauga
 ARIZONA (2)
 Kingman, Lake Havasu
 ARKANSAS (16)
 Batesville, Benton, Blytheville, Camden, Clarksville, Conway, El
 Dorado, Forrest City, Harrison, Malvern, Mena, Mountain Home,
 Paragould, Russellville, Searcy, Siloam Springs
 CALIFORNIA (18)
 Auburn, Davis, Fallbrook, Fort Bragg, Grass Valley, Lake
 Elsinore, Lakeport, Livermore, Napa, Paso Robles, Placerville,
 Porterville, Ridgecrest, Standard (Sonora), Temecula, Ukiah,
 Woodland, Yucca Valley
 COLORADO (6)
 Canon City, Durango, Glenwood Springs, Montrose, Steamboat
 Springs, Sterling
 DELAWARE (1)
 Lewes
 FLORIDA (9)
 Brooksville, Dade City, Fernandina Beach, Inverness, Live Oak,
 Palatka, Saint Augustine, Sebring, Winter Garden
 GEORGIA (19)
 Calhoun, Carrollton, Cordele, Cornelia, Covington, Douglas,
 Dublin, Fitzgerald, Griffin, Hinesville, Jesup, Milledgeville,
 Moultrie, Newnan, Saint Marys, Statesboro, Thomasville, Tifton,
 Vidalia
 IDAHO (1)
 Nampa
 ILLINOIS (3)
 Harrisburg, Peru, Sycamore
 INDIANA (4)
 Aurora, Connersville, Jasper, Plymouth
 IOWA (2)
 Muscatine, Ottumwa
 KANSAS (6)
 Arkansas City, Dodge City, Emporia, Hays, Lawrence, Ottawa
 KENTUCKY (10)
 Corbin, Danville, Hazard, London, Madisonville, Murray,
 Pikeville, Prestonsburg, South Williamson, West Somerset
 LOUISIANA (5)
 Bogalusa, Deridder, Leesville, Morgan City, New Iberia
 MAINE (5)
 Biddeford, Calais, Farmington, North Windham, Skowhegan
 MARYLAND (6)
 Bel Air, Berlin, Easton, Elkton, Havre De Grace, Prince Frederick
 MICHIGAN (16)
 Alpena, Big Rapids, Cadillac, Charlevoix, Coldwater, Escanaba,
 Grayling, Greenville, Hillsdale, Kingsford, Lapeer, Ludington,
 Marquette, Mount Pleasant, Petoskey, Sault Ste. Marie
 MINNESOTA (9)
 Alexandria, Bemidji, Brainerd, Faribault, Fergus Falls, Forest
 Lake, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Marshall
 MISSISSIPPI (10)
 Bay St. Louis, Brookhaven, Clarksdale, Cleveland, Corinth,
 Greenwood, Grenada, McComb, Oxford, Picayune
 MISSOURI (10)
 Camdenton, Farmington, Festus, Poplar Bluff, Rolla, Saint
 Robert, Sedalia, Warrensburg, Washington, West Plains
 MONTANA (3)
 Bozeman, Helena, Kalispell
 NEBRASKA (2)
 Norfolk, Scottsbluff
 NEVADA (1)
 Elko
 NEW HAMPSHIRE (3)
 Claremont, North Conway, Rochester
 NEW JERSEY (6)
 Flemington, Hamburg, Hammonton, Manahawkin, Pennsville, Rio
 Grande
 NEW MEXICO (5)
 Carlsbad, Gallup, Hobbs, Silver City, Taos
 NEW YORK (9)
 Batavia, Fredonia, Johnstown, Newark, Norwich, Ogdensburg,
 Oneonta, Oswego, Penn Yan
 NORTH CAROLINA (28)
 Aberdeen, Ahoskie, Boone, Clinton, Dunn, Elizabeth City, Forest
 City, Henderson, Hendersonville, Kinston, Laurinburg, Lenoir,
 Lexington, Lincolnton, Lumberton, Manteo, Marion, Morganton,
 Mount Airy, Murphy, North Wilkesboro, Sanford, Siler City,
 Statesville, Washington, Waynesville, Whiteville, Wilson
 NORTH DAKOTA (1)
 Devils Lake
 OHIO (7)
 Bryan, Celina, Gallipolis, Jackson, Middleport, New Boston,
 Wilmington
 OKLAHOMA (9)
 Ada, Ardmore, Claremore, Eufaula, McAlester, Ponca City, Poteau,
 Stillwater, Woodward
 OREGON (13)
 Astoria, Coos Bay, Corvallis, Grants Pass, Harbor, Hermiston,
 Klamath Falls, McMinnville, Newport, Ontario, Pendleton, The
 Dalles, Tillamook
 PENNSYLVANIA (15)
 Bangor, Bedford, Bradford, Burnham, Hazleton, Honesdale,
 Huntingdon, Kittanning, Lewisburg, Meadville, Quakertown, Saint
 Marys, Somerset, Towanda, Wellsboro
 RHODE ISLAND (1)
 Wakefield
 SOUTH CAROLINA (7)
 Beaufort, Camden, Easley, Greenwood, Lancaster, Newberry,
 Orangeburg
 TENNESSEE (13)
 Cookeville, Crossville, Dickson, Dyersburg, Fayetteville,
 Greeneville, Harriman, Lawrenceburg, Lenoir City, McMinnville,
 Paris, Tullahoma, Union City
 TEXAS (24)
 Athens, Bay City, Big Spring, Brenham, Brownwood, Corsicana, Del
 Rio, Eagle Pass, Granbury, Greenville, Huntsville, Jasper,
 Kerrville, Kingsville, Livingston, Marshall, Mineral Wells,
 Mount Pleasant, Nacogdoches, New Braunfels, Palestine, Sulphur
 Springs, Waxahachie, Wharton
 UTAH (4)
 Cedar City, Logan, Saint George, Vernal
 VERMONT (4)
 Barre, Morrisville, Newport, Saint Johnsbury
 VIRGINIA (9)
 Leesburg, Marion, South Hill, Staunton, Vansant (Grundy),
 Warrenton, Williamsburg, Wise, Wytheville
 WASHINGTON (8)
 Colville, Ellensburg, Moses Lake, Oak Harbor, Omak, Port
 Angeles, Sequim, Shelton
 WEST VIRGINIA (5)
 Buckhannon, Lewisburg, Logan, Summersville, Welch
 WISCONSIN (7)
 Ashland, Janesville, Lake Geneva, Manitowoc, Marshfield,
 Rhinelander, Wisconsin Rapids
 WYOMING (4)
 Gilette, Laramie, Rock Springs, Sheridan
 Product Lines
 Home Appliances
 Clothes washers and dryers
 Refrigerators
 Chest freezers
 Ranges (freestanding)
 Dishwashers
 Microwave ovens
 Range hoods
 Vacuums (uprights and canisters)
 Consumer Electronics
 Televisions
 VCRs
 Camcorders
 Packaged/rack stereo systems
 Lawn and Garden
 Lawn mowers
 Tractors and tractor accessories
 Chippers
 Edgers
 Blowers
 Hedge trimmers
 Weed trimmers
 Chain saws
 Water heaters
 Water softeners
 Tillers
 Snow throwers
 -0- 4/8/93
 /CONTACT: Sears Media Relations, 708-286-8371/
 (S)


CO: Sears, Roebuck & Co. ST: Illinois IN: REA SU:

CK -- NY037 -- 4210 04/08/93 11:53 EDT
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Date:Apr 8, 1993
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