Chain Store Age
CHICAGO - Sears Holdings Corp. is testing its Sears Auto Centers format in Kmart stores—a move that, if rolled out companywide, could double the size of Sears’ auto-repair business and make use of hundreds of vacant repair shops at Kmart stores around the nation, Crain’s Chicago Business reported. Some of the first Sears Auto Centers are expected to go into Kmart stores in the Detroit area, the publication said.
U.S. Auto Care’s Big O Tires Inc., a franchise which had been operating 13 outlets in Kmart stores in the Detroit area and went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization last year, shuttered outlets in March after Kmart told the Bankruptcy Court that it had another tenant for the spaces.
Kmart declined to name the potential tenant in court filings, but Crain’s Chicago Business said people familiar with the operation say Sears officials have been in Michigan looking to turn at least some of the former Big O locations into Sears Auto Centers.