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Sears launches franchise program for dealerships

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Feb. 22, 2010—In response to 3,000 car dealerships losing their franchises during the economic downturn, Sears Holdings Corp. has launched a franchise program for automotive centers.

The Independent Sears Auto Center franchise program offers automobile dealers the ability to operate licensed Sears Auto Centers. A statement from Sears said the new program provides automotive aftermarket businesses with the Sears brand, buying power, distribution network and systems and corporate support.

The franchise locations will provide the same products that are currently available at nearly 850 existing Sears Auto Centers, according to Sears.

Many of the franchise locations will be located on properties adjacent to pre-owned vehicle and body shop operations.

East Windsor, N.J.-based Coleman Auto Group, which has a collision repair department, is the first dealership to act on the program, according to Sears. It will open a Sears Auto Center March 27.

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