Retail

Sears drops Falken

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Falken Tire Corp. says it will distribute solely through independent tire dealers now that Sears has severed its relationship with the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based import tire marketer.

Sears “took offense to one of our advertisements” in two consumer truck magazines, according to Richard Smallwood, Falken’s vice president of sales and marketing.

“They said it was offensive to their associates.”

The ad pictures a voluptuous model standing next to a Cadillac Escalade accompanied by the words “Her Bolt-Ons” and “Your Bolt-Ons.”

The ad was satirical and “meant to poke fun at the aftermarket,” says Smallwood.

Sears’ decision will have “a minor impact on Falken” from a financial standpoint.

“The mass merchandisers aren’t really the best venue for marketing our products.” It’s more appropriate for Falken to sell tires through its network of independent tire dealers, he says.

Falken has no plans to pursue sales through other mass merchandisers.

It had been doing business with Sears for a number of years.

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