BUFFALO, N.Y.—Randall Clark has Dunn Tire Corp. on the move, expanding the retail chain's presence throughout western Pennsylvania and upstate New York. After adding four stores to the Buffalo-based dealership's network in the past year, Dunn Tire has two more stores slated to open by year-end and has concrete plans for five more stores next year, the company's chairman said.
The two stores to be opened yet this year—in the Buffalo suburb of Tonawanda and in Greece, N.Y., near Rochester—are rehabs of buildings that hadn't previously been tire dealerships, Mr. Clark said, adding that the company likely will close a store in the Rochester area after the new outlet in Greece is opened.
``We expect to open three or four more stores in the Rochester area, one in Syracuse and one in Olean (N.Y.),'' he said. The additions would push Dunn Tire's reach to 30 stores throughout its growing market area.
The company also has inquired about buying some of the recently closed National Tire and Battery stores in the Buffalo area.
``We have an appetite to grow and expand our stores,'' Mr. Clark said. ``Anyone who has stores for sale, we'd be interested.''
Dunn Tire's expansion plans center around its marketing area of Erie, Pa., and Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y., where it currently operates 24 retail stores, not counting the two set to open later this year.
Once it fills out coverage in those regions, the dealership plans to widen its marketing horizons, but only in areas contiguous to those it now serves.
``It gets difficult to sit and run a retail operation in a distant place,'' Mr. Clark said.
Of the four stores opened in the past year, two were acquisitions and two were new construction.
In 2000, the dealership again will advertise heavily through local professional and collegiate sports venues, Mr. Clark said.
``We're in about every sports format we can get into,'' he said. ``Our philosophy is to have a commanding share of voice in any of the markets in which we do business.''
Dunn Tire spends about 8 percent of retail revenues on advertising. With projected retail sales of $26 million in 1999, that puts the company's annual advertising budget at about $2 million.
Next year, the Dunn Tire logo will appear on the ice at home games of the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League.
It also will appear in the Carrier Dome during Syracuse University football and basketball games.
As a sponsor of the Buffalo Destroyers arena football team, the logo will be knitted into the field.
Dunn Tire will get additional exposure as a sponsor of the University of Buffalo sports teams and will be seen by fans of the Buffalo Bisons minor league baseball, which will play in a stadium called Dunn Tire Park for the next eight years.