COMMERCE, Calif.—AKH Co. Inc. is setting up a mail-order unit at its Discount Tire Center location in Santa Ana, Calif., to capitalize on the booming performance market. ``We've been wanting to get into the performance tire and wheel (mail-order) business for a couple of years,'' said John Andonian, president and CEO. Three employees will occupy a 300-sq.-ft. office in the 12,000-sq.-ft. service center to handle mail orders of custom wheel and tire packages.
Mr. Andonian said the new unit will concentrate on marketing ``middle of the road'' wheel brands such as Primax and American Racing. Asked whether this program will be expanded to other locations, Mr. Andonian said, ``At this point we're just testing this program in one store.''
The selection of wheels and performance tires in the other stores already has been expanded, and Mr. Andonian said he hopes the added visibility of the Santa Ana mail-order business will help develop sales in that market.
AKH plans to add seven to 10 retail stores next year in existing markets. Mr. Andonian noted that AKH recently opened four new locations in a 90-day span—three in Southern California and one in the Sacramento area.
The company also is adding a new point-of-sale computer program to integrate the stores and the corporate office, which, he said, ``appears to be quite slick.'' So, how well is it working?
``Our expectations are high,'' he said.