Sears Carpet & Upholstery Care Ranks Eighth Among New Franchise Opportunities

Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) today announced that the company's first-ever national franchising venture now has a network of more than 110 franchises servicing 60 percent of the nation's single-family dwellings. As a result of this achievement, Entrepreneur magazine, a leading business publication for and about entrepreneurs, has named Sears Carpet & Upholstery Care the nation's eighth top new franchise opportunity.

"We are thrilled with the success of our carpet and upholstery care franchising strategy," said John Hassey, president, Sears Carpet & Upholstery Care. "Sears will continue to move forward with building our franchise network and providing new business opportunities to qualified parties. By the end of 2001, Sears intends to secure franchise partners in California, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, enabling us to provide our unique Ultra Care® System to more than 70 percent of the United States."

In less than two years, Sears Carpet & Upholstery Care has become one of the industry's leading competitors through its Ultra Care System cleaning process and dedication to customer service. The multi-step Ultra Care System is the cornerstone of Sears Carpet & Upholstery Care's success. While many competitors rely on a single-step clean-and-rinse method, the Sears Ultra Care cleaning process offers a technologically-advanced, dual-step carpet and upholstery care system.

"Our deep-cleaning, clean-rinsing, dual-step process thoroughly removes cleaning agents and dirt from carpet and upholstery," said Hassey. "The typical one-step process leaves cleaning agents on the carpet, which attracts dirt after it dries."

Sears is offering this process through franchise agreements with select local service providers. To ensure consistent, quality service, Sears franchisees agree to work exclusively as Sears service providers, adhering to strict Sears service guidelines under 10-year commitments. The combination of a superior product and Sears' dedication to quality customer service has resulted in a strong customer satisfaction vehicle.

Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500® is an annual ranking of the top 500 franchises based on numerous factors, including financial strength, growth rate and size of the system. From this overall list, various rankings are recognized including the top 50 new companies which began franchising within the past five years. Only companies with full Uniform Franchise Offering Circulars or Alberta, Canada disclosure documents were eligible for consideration.

Sears HomeCentral is the nation's largest home repair provider in terms of the number of home repair specialists, with more than 12,000 trained technicians making approximately 14 million calls annually. Sears-trained technicians make over 200,000 at-home repair visits per week and repair one out of every five appliances serviced in America. Sears technicians service most major brands no matter where the customer purchased the product.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading U.S. retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of more than $40 billion. The company serves families across the country through approximately 860 department stores, more than 2,100 specialized retail locations, and a variety of online offerings accessible through the company's Web site, . Any questions concerning Sears Carpet & Upholstery Care can also be addressed at 1-800-586-1603 ext. 3000.

Reprinted with permission from Entrepreneur magazine January 2001, .

SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Contact: Edgar P. McDougal of Sears, 847-286-9669



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