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Come see the more aggressive side of Sears. Next month, Sears, Roebuck and Co. will begin converting 278 of its nearly 300 NTW and Tire America stores to National Tire and Battery (NTB) outlets.
The consolidation is part of an aggressive campaign to increase its number of "off-the-mall" stores to 700 nationwide by the year 2001 (14 stores will remain NTW or Tire America stores for business reasons).
The new retail concept contrasts with Sears' basic mall-store philosophy, which plays up its "softer side" to a broader customer base skewed toward women. But it also complements the Sears Auto Centers format, according to Paul Baffico, president of the Sears Automotive Group.
In four years, the combination of 700 NTB and 790 Sears Auto Centers will give the company 1,490 retail tire outlets.
Baffico says NTB stores will be …