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Goodyear kiosks give retailers a license to sell

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Using its network of retail stores as a licensing proving ground, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has began installing free-standing, licensed product kiosks at 65 Goodyear Auto Service Centers and 118 Just Tires locations across the United States.

The initial installation, which will take place between Oct. 15 and the end of October, is part of a broader retail distribution plan for its licensed products, according to Bob Paciulan, manager of licensed products.

The Goodyear kiosk, designed by Rich Ltd. of Carlsbad, Calif., is a metal structure with flexible shelving to allow for multiple configurations depending on product mix. The kiosks are stocked and maintained by Eastern Tool Warehouse (ETW), which operates seven distribution centers across the U.S.

The new kiosks will offer 22 distinctive products ranging from air compressors to floor mats and air pressure gauges, produced by licensees and carrying the Goodyear name. Product prices range from $2 to $40.

There are more than 60 licensees that currently produce products carrying the Goodyear name.

"This is the first time that Goodyear-licensed products are being offered at Goodyear retail locations, and we hope that this direction encourages additional licensing agreements with companies that produce high-quality merchandise and want to tap into our consumer distribution capability," says Paciulan.

The initial kiosk pilot program will be evaluated in the first quarter of 2008. If the program meets or exceeds expectations, it could be expanded to all 750 Goodyear-owned Auto Service Centers, and then migrate to Goodyear's much broader independent dealer network throughout North America.

There is also the possibility that the program could extend to other geographies.

"We are interested in identifying new, high-quality licensees to extend the Goodyear brand to new and different customer bases," says Paciulan. "We believe our brand has permission to expand within a wide variety of categories, based on the positive strength of the Goodyear name, in the automotive, travel, vacation, sports and leisure spaces.

"Our expansive and well-respected distribution network is just one way in which we can add value for those who wish to team up with us."

The new Goodyear retail kiosk will be on display next month at Goodyear's booth at the SEMA automotive show in Las Vegas, Nev.

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