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Sears schedules financial services expansion

Sears Financial Network, backed up by TV and print-media ads featuring a ''trust us'' campaign with actor Hal Holbrook, will expand its point-of-sale facilities to 33 Sears stores by midyear.

The company announced that installation of the new combination setups - consisting of in-store services from Sears subsidiaries, Coldwell Banker & Co. (real estate), Dean Witter Reynolds Organization Inc. (financial brokerage), Allstate Savings & Loan Association, and Allstate Insurance - began in February with the opening of seven added units.

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Along with the eight test centers opened last July, this will bring the total to 15, pinpointed in selected Sears stores across the country. Sears stores in the Chicago area will open nine units in May and at the same time nine more units will be set up in the company's California stores.

Promotional advantages of the new combined financial services include the exposure to new potential customers through store traffic and cross-company customer lists.

In many parts of the country Sears charge account customers already have been receiving institutional material from Dean Witter. In the testing phase, new accounts opened at Dean Witter centers in Sears stores (and through new mail-out promotions) have been about five times greater than new accounts signed up in single-company offices.

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