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Jun. 11--Western Auto Supply Co. is looking straight into the face of a competitive auto parts business with a new strategy aimed at propelling it ahead of the crowd.
The nearly 90-year-old Kansas City company, which is a subsidiary of Sears, Roebuck and Co., is in the midst of a major transformation under the direction of a new chief executive.
For starters, the Tire America and NTW stores, purchased by Western Auto in the 1980s, are now firmly under another Sears subsidiary. Those tire stores are being converted to National Tire & Battery outlets.
The venerable Western Auto stores are changing as well. Most of the 314 company-owned stores now open are being transformed into Parts America stores that sell automotive parts but don't perform repairs and services such as oil changes that Western Auto stores have traditionally offered.
More than 1,000 area Western Auto employees are expected to observe the conversion of the stores to Parts America …