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Monro: 150 stores in Fla. possible

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Monro Muffler Inc. photo Monro Muffler Inc. President and CEO John Van Heel

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (July 25, 2014) — Monro Muffler Brake Inc. sees the potential for as many as 150 retail stores in Florida now that it has established a foothold there with its pending acquisition of 35 Tire Choice & Total Car Care stores.

Monro disclosed July 24 its agreement to buy the 35 Tire Choice stores in South Florida from Hennelly Tire & Auto Inc., the  Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company owned by Dan and Diane Hennelly.

Monro President and CEO John Van Heel said Mr. Hennelly — president of Morgan Tire & Auto in the mid-2000s prior to his founding Hennelly Tire/Tire Choice — will consult with Monro for at least three years on site selection/development of new locations.

In a conference call with financial analysts July 24, Mr. Van Heel said Monro looks for the right opportunities when entering new markets, which is why it’s starting with nearly 20 stores in Michigan and now 35 in Florida.

“We are not going to a new state like Florida for five stores,” he said, “but with the tremendous opportunities that exist down there entering with 35 stores that cover major markets on those is a perfect way for us to get into a large market there.

“And affords us the opportunity to bolt on additional stores, which will up drive the operating synergies we get by increasing the store density in our markets. “

Mr. Van Heel said the Tire Choice stores being acquired will continue to operate under that name and that Monro likely will use the Tire Choice identity alongside the Monro name in Florida.

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