Sears Holdings has announced a franchise program that will see automobile dealers become Sears Auto Centers.
The Independent Sears Auto Center franchise program will give franchisees access to the brand, distribution network, systems and corporate support from the retailer.
The first franchisee, Coleman Auto Group of East Windsor, New Jersey, will open a Sears Auto Center in March 2010. Coleman Auto Group is utilizing a space formerly dedicated to its Chrysler dealership.
“With over 3000 automobile dealerships that have lost their franchise, Sears designed the new franchise program to help those dealers leverage their facilities by building a set of businesses around parts and services, over-the-counter merchandise, and previously-owned vehicle sales,” says a statement from Sears. “The new Sears Auto Center franchise locations will provide the same products and services for automobiles, light trucks and motorcycles that are currently available at the nearly 850 company-owned Sears Auto Centers.”