ERLANGER, Ky.-Bob Sumerel Tire Co., a regional chain of retail and commercial tire centers in the Cincinnati area, has taken control of its third and fourth Bandag Inc. franchises, making the company one of the largest retreading operations in the country. The purchases, coupled with several other recent expansion moves, prompted company executives to predict 1994 sales figures will soar by as much as 25 percent over last year's numbers-to more than $32 million.
Bob Sumerel Tire received Bandag approval to purchase the retreading franchises of Zeiher's Inc. in Newark, Ohio, and Shrader's Inc. in Greenville, Ohio, in October and December, respectively, according to Craig Sumerel, company director of operations.
Terms of the purchases were not disclosed. A company spokesman said Bandag has about 500 franchisees in the United States.
The two retreading operations already are on line and have boosted company retreading capacity to 500 tires per day, when coupled with Bob Sumerel's two existing Bandag plants in Erlanger and Columbus, Ohio, the company said.
The Newark retreading operation, which was immediately moved to nearby Hebron, Ohio, also serves as the company's sixth full-service commercial truck tire center.
Mr. Sumerel said he believes the company is ``always looking to expand our operations.''
``I think, in this case, it was largely a matter of (the two franchises) were not growing as much as (Bandag) had wanted,'' Mr. Sumerel said. ``We were then allowed to go in and take control.''
The purchases of the two franchises follow a company decision in November to move the Sumerel commercial truck operation in Cincinnati into a 22,000-sq.-ft., fully equipped, full-service facility in suburban Blue Ash, Ohio, effectively doubling operations at the center.
``The new building offers more warehouse space, more flexibility as far as service of the trucks goes,'' Mr. Sumerel said of the abandoned building the company purchased in Blue Ash. ``Basically, business had been going real well, and we had outgrown the other building.''
Also in October, the company purchased its 12th retail establishment in Alexandria, Ohio, and recently began construction of its 13th store, a 4,500-sq.-ft. building in West Chester, Ohio.
``This activity will probably result in a 25-percent increase in sales for our entire company in 1994,'' Mr. Sumerel predicted. Company sales totaled about $26 million in 1993.
Bob Sumerel Tire, which was founded in 1968, also operates a wholesale distribution center in Erlanger and carries Bridgestone, Cooper, Michelin and Dunlop tires at its retail centers. The company sells Michelin, Bridgestone, Yokohama and Dunlop tires, as well as Bandag retreads, at its commercial centers, which operate in the Cincinnati and Columbus areas.
Mr. Sumerel said he believes the company will be able to expand to additional locations throughout the region by the end of the year. But he declined to comment on any additional company expansion plans.