CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Discount Tire Co. Inc. will establish an East Coast beachhead this summer with the anticipated opening in August of its first store in the Carolinas, in Gastonia, N.C. Jeff Stine, Discount Tire's regional vice president, said the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based dealership is constructing a 7,400-sq.-ft. store in Gastonia and anticipates opening six stores in the Charlotte area within the next 18 months. Mr. Stine is overseeing the expansions.
The company also is interested in other growing markets and is looking at properties in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and in Greenville and Columbia, S.C.
The expansion marks the first time Discount Tire has significantly expanded its presence on the East Coast since opening stores in Florida in 1988.
Gary Van Brunt, Discount Tire's executive vice president, did not return phone calls seeking comment on the expansions, first reported recently in the Charlotte Observer.
With 380 company-owned outlets and 1997 sales of $864 million, Discount Tire is the second-largest independent tire dealership in North America.
The company is known for selling all major tire brands, as well as its own private labels: the Arizonian brand, made by Kelly-Springfield Tire Co., and the Phantom and Fisk brands made by Michelin North America.