U.S. Auto Care waits on word from Kmart

July 2, 2004

Kmart's pending sale of 54 stores to Sears Roebuck & Co. may have a direct impact on Dearborn Heights, Mich.-based Big O Tires Inc. franchisee U.S. Auto Care LLC, according to U.S. Auto Care President Steve Wilson.

"Of our 12-store base, we have seven that are attached to Kmart buildings," says Wilson. They are former Penske Auto Centers shops. The rest of U.S. Auto Care's stores are stand-alone locations.

"We are anxiously awaiting some word from Kmart."

He doesn't think the Troy, Mich.-based mass merchandiser will announce the locations it is selling for at least 60 days.

The $621 million sale to Sears was announced earlier this week.

Kmart will operate the stores that are sold until March or April of next year.

U.S. Auto Care finished the month of June with a 31% increase in sales, "our highest volume month since we have been open," says Wilson.