Were it not for management's willingness to stray from the well-beaten path by staging unusual sales promotions, #1 Snyder Wholesale Tire & Electronics easily might be numbered among those family-owned businesses that are said to be a vanishing breed. Nevertheless, the Wintersville, Ohio, dealership soon will be listed in the Guinness Book of Records for retailing the most tires out of any single outlet during a 24-hour period.
Other small dealerships would benefit from heeding #1 Snyder's creative example when attempting to boost store traffic and increase recognition of their business among consumers.
#1 Snyder Tire, during its 24-hour ``tirethon,'' April 28, retailed a whopping 1,714 tires-a record yet unmatched even by the industry's most formidable of mass merchandisers.
We know of a Tire America outlet in Brookpark, Ohio, for example, that sold 1,328 passenger tires during a 9 1/2-hour period in 1990.
The Wintersville tirethon was the brainchild of company President Doug Snyder, whose previous sales promotions have ranged from guest appearances by Playboy Magazine's ``Playmate of the Year'' to awarding children's electric-powered car replicas as door prizes.
Mr. Snyder's philosophy is: ``You don't need to advertise to do business. You need to advertise to do a lot of business.'' And his tirethon generated a lot of sales and public recognition for the dealership-with some customers driving as far as 120 miles to take part.
The company spent $20,000 promoting the event via 210,000 direct-mail fliers and radio and TV advertising.
Although the sale itself lost about $4,000, Mr. Snyder said the additional business it continued to generate put the company over the breakeven point within four selling days after the event.
Not every dealer can become the P.T. Barnum of tire retailing. But most would benefit from taking a fresh approach to tire advertising and promotion. So would the tire industry at large-which too long has been a captive of ``me-too-ism'' in the retail marketplace.