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Nationwide Acquiring Canadian Buying Group From Sears

N.C.  – The Nationwide Marketing Group
has agreed to purchase Cantrex, a $2 billion Canadian buying organization, from
Sears Canada.

No purchase price
was disclosed.

Cantrex is
comprised of more than 1,200 independent dealers specializing in furniture, major
appliances, bedding, CE, photography, floor coverings and home fashions.

The purchase,
which is expected to close at the end of the month, excludes Corbeil
Electrique, Cantrex’s 30-store franchised appliance chain.

Nationwide said it
has enjoyed “a long-standing collaborative relationship with the Cantrex team,”
and views the deal as “an excellent opportunity to further increase the group’s
scale, improve efficiencies and enhance member services.”

“Adding billions
of dollars to our buying power with the stroke of a pen is a good thing for our
members and another exciting step in Nationwide’s continued growth,” said
Nationwide president Robert Weisner.

Added Nationwide COO
Les Kirk, “Both Nationwide and Cantrex bring assets to the relationship that
will be leveraged to benefit the members of both groups. The synergy between
these two companies is incredible and we were immediately impressed with their
leadership team.”

Kirk said
Nationwide expects a “fairly seamless transition.”

Cantrex was
created in 1982 by merger, and was purchased in 2005 by Sears Canada, a unit of
Sears Holdings, to help develop the chain’s merchandising, buying, and
logistics services in the furniture and appliance categories.

Cantrex will
continue to share distribution facilities with Sears Canada in Montreal,
Quebec, Vancouver, British Columbia and Vaughan, Ontario, Sears said.

Nationwide currently
has about 3,000 member dealers specializing in major appliances, furniture, CE
and rent-to own sales with $12 billion dollars in combined revenue.