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Sears Dealers Sue Over Kmart Merger

Minneapolis — The Dealer Store Owners Association, which represents more than 200 individual- and family-owned Sears stores, is suing Sears Roebuck & Co. for breach of contract and for violating the laws of 18 states. The group charges that the merger between Sears and Kmart will hurt their business because Kmart will begin selling proprietary Sears products like Kenmore appliances.

The lawsuit charges that Sears convinced the owners to build up their markets and promised that Sears would keep them in business for life. The group says that it seeks no monetary damages, just protection for the dealers.

Distributor Group Forms

Seattle— Created to helping manufacturers and custom installation professionals provide the latest in fully integrated audio, video, networking and home automation systems to consumers, the Digital Delivery Group has formed with 12 CE distributors. Mark Friedman of Custom Audio Video Distribution, N.J., will serve as the group's president. Paul Collins of PCA Distributing, Calif., and Steve Presti of Easy Access Distribution, Mass., will serve as co-VPs. Ed Smith of Georgia-based Custom Distribution will serve as secretary, and Bob Oliver of Custom Plus Distribution in Washington state will serve as treasurer.

Street Named For Abt; Retailer Holds Benefit

Chicago — The City of Chicago dedicated the corner of Wolfram and Milwaukee to the founders of Glenview, Ill.-based Abt Electronics, Jewel and David Abt, in May. The corner was renamed Jewel and David Abt Way, commemorating the location of Abt's first retail facility, which opened in 1936.

This month, Abt's For Autistic Kids Foundation will hold its 4th Annual Golf Benefit in Golf, Ill. The foundation was started to raise funds to increase public awareness and understanding of autism, and for research for the early detection, prevention, treatment and cure of autism. For more information, call (847) 544-2301.

First Circuit City Closes

Richmond, Va.— The first Circuit City superstore, here, closed this month. It opened in 1974 and was one of the first warehouse-sized stores in the United States. The 40,000-square-foot store's sales dwindled in recent years as the area around the store is no longer the retail magnet it once was, said Alan McCollough, Circuit City's chairman/CEO.

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