President Tire Laval, Quebec
President Tire opened nine additional franchised outlets, increased its corporate sales by more than 4 percent and added General to its multi-brand tire lineup-all within the past year.
The nine new retail stores (five in Quebec and four in Canada's Maritime provinces, the company's primary marketplace), brought President Tire's total to 75 retail outlets, all but two of which are franchised.
The company hopes to expand to 100 outlets within the not too distant future, according to Sales Manager Pierre Nystrom. He's projecting sales of $28.1 million in 1995.
Mr. Nystrom said expansion has been complicated by a lackluster economy-particularly in Quebec, where the pending provincial referendum to secede from Canada has created additional economic uncertainty.
During 1994, however, President Tire increased its corporate sales to $26.5 million from $25.4 million (U.S.) the previous year, with tires accounting for 95 percent of sales, Mr. Nystrom said.
In addition to General, the dealership carries Dayton, Sava, Sumitomo and Eldorado as well its its own President brand tires. Antoine Picard is president and CEO of the family-owned firm.
Purcell Tire & Rubber Co. opened two retail facilities and closed two others during the past year, giving the dealership 12 retail and 32 retail/commercial locations in 11 states.
One of the new outlets is in Reno, Nev., a new market where Purcell Tire added a ``mega-center'' featuring separate commercial and retail showrooms, service bays and, in this instance, a retread shop. The other retail addition was in Crystal City, Mo.
Purcell Tire also closed two retail outlets during the year, both in Arizona, in poor locations, according to Juanita Purcell, executive vice president.
Retail sales for the dealership fell 8.8 percent to $41 million in 1994, from the year before, due to a shift in policy from retail to commercial, Mrs. Purcell said. Sheprojects a further decline to $40 million in 1995.
Total company sales, however, grew 2.2 percent to $138 million last year and should rise again in 1995 to $140 million, she said.
Purcell is looking at adding four retail or retail/commercial outlets in 1996 in Missouri, including Kansas City, a new market.
The company offers complete underhood services and sells Goodyear, Michelin, General and Toyo brand tires and Kelly-Springfield Tire Co.'s Associate Brand lines.
RPJ Tire Co.
RPJ Tire, which operates Parnelli Jones Inc., expects to boost retail sales $3 million to an estimated $62 million by year's end but, more importantly, looks to increase profits next year following the introduction of a massive communal-purchasing group.
During the past year, the company boosted the number of Parnelli Jones outlets by one to a total of 95 and entered Oklahoma for the first time. President and CEO Daniel Beach said the company plans to add an unspecified number of outlets in Houston through the end of 1996.
However, as was the case with most California companies polled during the survey, Parnelli complained of a weak state economy. With the merger of the former Dob's Tire & Auto Centers complete, Parnelli hopes to boost profit levels next year through its participation in the recently formed Tire Alliance Groupe Inc.
Bound Brook, N.J.
Somerset Tire Service, which does business as STS Tire & Auto Centers, added seven new stores over the last 12 months, bringing its total to 58 retail outlets, all of which are company-owned.
Four of the new stores are located in New York's Hudson Valley and three in central New Jersey.
The firm, which serves New Jersey, New York and eastern Pennsylvania, plans to add another six to eight stores within these markets during the next 24 months, according to Executive Vice President William F. Caulin.James Hannon is company president.
The dealership also experienced a 7.3-percent increase in retail sales during 1994, Mr. Caulin said.
Retail sales in 1994 rose to approximately $62 million, from $57.8 million in 1993. Total sales were $90 million, up from $84.3 million the previous year, he said.
The employee-owned dealership handles Gillette, Michelin, Firestone, Centennial, Pirelli and Toyo brand tires and offers brake, ride-control, alignment, tune-up, air conditioning and other general auto services.
Tires account for about 40 percent of retail sales, according to Mr. Caulin, who looks for this year's sales totals to closely resemble those of 1994.
Tire Centers Inc.
Although Tire Centers Inc. maintained its stable of 106 combination commercial/retail outlets, the company increased its total revenues by 6 percent to $334 million in 1994. TIRE BUSINESS estimates the retail portion of those corporate sales totaled about $100 million.
The company plans to expand ``on an opportunistic basis'' during the coming year.
TCI, North America's largest commercial dealership, carries BFGoodrich, Michelin, Kelly and Hood brand tires in its retail outlets, which are scattered throughout the U.S.
The stores also offer tire and light mechanical services.
Riviera Beach, Fla.
Tire Kingdom opened 13 stores and closed three others during the past year, all in Florida, and now operates 149 company-owned retail locations in the state.
The dealership had planned on opening six stores in North Carolina during 1995 but postponed those plans until next year after experiencing ``difficulty in assembling the desired number of sites,'' according to Chuck Curcio, president and CEO.
He said he is targeting early next year for the North Carolina expansion.
To promote the dealership's ``Kingdom'' theme, the North Carolina stores will feature a castle motif, said Mr. Curcio, who has dubbed himself the ``King'' of tire retailing.
Another four or five stores, out of seven scheduled to open in Florida by the end of 1995, also will feature the castle look, he said.
During the past year, Tire Kingdom added oil, lube and filterservice to about 80 percent of its stores.
To keep that operation simple, the dealership has focused on servicing 92 percent of the vehicle population and dispenses only one type of bulk oil and filter.
``We wanted to make it simple and easy on the store operations to perform this service,'' Mr. Curcio said.
In addition to undercar services such as alignments and brakes, Tire Kingdom offers a broad lineup of tires including Michelin, BFGoodrich, Uniroyal, General, Pirelli, Toyo, Yokohama, Goodyear, Republic, Crestwood and others.
Tire sales account for 78 percent of the company's retail sales, and automotive service 22 percent.