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Sears Expanding Kmart Majap Biz, Dealer Stores

3/27/2008 02:50:00 PM Eastern

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holdings will continue to add major appliances to more of its Kmart locations, and plans to expand its chain of independently owned dealer stores.

According to the company’s annual 10-K report, filed yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Sears remodeled about 30 Kmart stores last year to accommodate Kenmore majaps and other Sears private-label products. By Feb. 2, 2008, about 280 of Kmart’s 1,382 locations carried a multibrand assortment of white goods, up from about 100 stores that were selling majaps three years ago.

“We intend to continue our rollout of home appliances, including Sears Kenmore-brand products, into Kmart locations over the next several years as a means of expanding our points of distribution in response to competitor store growth,” the company said in the filing.

Separately, Sears said it plans to continue expanding its dealer store program this year. The stores are primarily independently owned, average about 8,800 square feet in size, and carry a select assortment of CE, appliances, lawn and garden equipment, hardware and automotive batteries. Dealer stores are traditionally located in small, rural communities, but Sears has also begun targeting urban neighborhoods across the country. Forty locations were added last year, bringing the total dealer store count to 857.