HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL –- Jan. 8, 2002 -- Sears says it plans to stop selling and installing carpet next month to revamp product mix. Sears, Roebuck and Co. will stop selling and installing carpet next month as it revamps its product mix.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based retailer sells carpeting in 560 stores nationwide and is one of the oldest carpet retailers. Spokeswoman Peggy Palter said there are 1,500 sales positions involved in carpeting, but it is too early to determine how many may lose their jobs because some may be transferred to other departments.

``Installed floor-covering requires a lot of floor space to display, and we think that space can be used more profitably for other businesses,'' Palter said.

She said Sears will continue to sell rugs and will honor all warranties. Sears' carpet sales have lagged in recent years as Home Depot and Lowe's, the top floor-covering retailers, have expanded their flooring products.