Big 10 Tire Mobile, Ala.
Big 10 Tire Stores Inc. did not respond to TIRE BUSINESS's survey, but the dealership is estimated to have 44 stores in Alabama, Georgia and Florida that generate total retail revenues of an estimated $34 million.
Real estate developer Jim Wilson is the dealership's owner and R. Donald Kennemer is president.
Big O Tires
Before the year is up, Big O Tires Inc. may finally return to private-company status.
But events leading to the return of the publicly-held company's ownership into the hands of a group of senior management and franchised dealers have made for a tumultuous year.
Last February, during a stormy annual dealer meeting, the direction of the tire franchiser changed hands, with company President Steven P. Cloward agreeing to share power-through an Office of the CEO-with Big O board members John Siipola and Horst Mehlfeldt.
Meanwhile, the firm's board has accepted an offer by a group of dealers and senior executives, fronted by Mr. Cloward, to buy all of Big O's outstanding stock for $16.50 per share.
With that as a backdrop, Big O continued to realize residual effects from the ``Cost-U-Less'' pricing program it instituted for its dealers a year ago, ringing up total sales of $128 million last year. Projected 1995 total sales are $135 million.
Some 60 percent of Big O's retail revenue comes from the tire sales of its 385 franchise and four company-owned outlets.
Big O has opened about 17 new stores thus far this year, and projects launching a total of 26: two in the west central region; 15 in the southwest; five in the central region; and four in the northwest.
In line with its average of closing five to 10 stores annually, Big O has either closed down or refurbished, then re-franchised five stores in 1995, according to Ronald Lautzenheiser, vice president of business development.
Big O opened a huge new warehouse this year in Henderson, Nev. Another was opened in June 1994 in New Albany, Ind.
Mr. Lautzenheiser said plans call for ``clock springing'' stores out from those company warehouses into surrounding areas at a rate of about a half-dozen a year.
Earlier this year, Discount Tire Co. added Illinois to its roster of a dozen states where it already operated as either Discount Tire or America's Tire Co.
The addition of the Illinois outlet brings to 281 the number of its stores-all company-owned-up 10 from the previous year.
The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based tire retailer reported total sales of $590 million in 1994. Bruce T. Halle Sr., chairman and CEO, noted the firm anticipates boosting those results by 10.2 percent this year, to $650 million.
Last May, Mr. Halle's son, Bruce T. Halle Jr., was promoted to president of the company. He had been a senior vice president in charge of store operations.
High Ridge, Mo.
Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers saw its retail sales in 1994 increase a healthy 6.9 percent to $34 million and the number of its retail outlets grow from 27 to 29.
These outlets serve the St. Louis metroplex and surrounding counties and all but one are company-owned.
Plans call for opening two additional stores during the next 12 to 18 months, according to President Donald W. Dobbs.
For 1995, he is projecting sales of $36 million, a 5.9-percent increase from those of last year.
Mr. Dobbs said tires account forabout 45 percent of the firm's retail sales with auto-motive services contributing the remainder. Dobbs Tire offers a variety of under car and under hood services.
During the past year, Dobbs added Toyo to its tire lineup of Goodyear, Michelin, BFGoodrich and Cordovan brands.
Once a 100-percent Goodyear dealership, Dobbs Tire is now in its fourth year of aggressively promoting other brands. However, this has not diminished the company's sales of Goodyear tires, according to Mr. Dobbs.
``We're selling more Goodyear than ever before,'' he said. ``We've had some nice increases with all our brands, in fact.''
Having multiple outlets within such close proximity has permitted the company to devote more of its advertising budget to radio and broadcast television.
Such advertising is ``extremely expensive. But it's paying off. Those are effective advertising dollars,'' he said.
``Our business is increasing and we're enjoying really good times,'' Mr. Dobbs said.