'Southern Tire Sales L.L.C., an independent Goodyear commercial tire dealership and retreader, opened a 36,000-sq.-ft. sales and service facility June 22 in Pearl, Miss.
The new structure includes two 80-ft. enclosed bays, a retread plant and corporate offices.
Owner Bernard Richards, 52, said the location is ideal because there are two major truck stops in the area and two interstates that intersect in nearby Jackson, Miss.
Southern Tire's new facility employs 27. The retread plant currently produces more than 100 tires per day, Mr. Richards said. A second curing chamber and additional employees will be added by the end of the year.
The new facility also offers Great Lakes Powder Coat system wheel refurbishing and Bee Line alignment equipment.
Mr. Richards projects sales of about $7.5 million this year for the company, which also has a service facility and retread plant in Laurel, Miss., and a sales center in Meridian, Miss.
Mr. Richards, a veteran of the commercial tire business for more than 20 years, was manager of Southern Tire Mart's Jackson location when Bandag Inc. purchased STM in late 1997.
In January 1998, he joined founder Howard Miller as a partner in Miller Tire Mart in Vicksburg, Miss., which was founded in 1983.
Messrs. Richards and Miller planned to relocate to Jackson, but Mr. Miller died in April 1999.
Mr. Richards purchased the remainder of the commercial part of the dealership from the Miller family and completed plans to move.
Delta World Tire added two locations the week of April 3.
The New Orleans-based dealership opened a 10-bay facility in Lafayette, La. and opened another store it had acquired in Houma, La.
The 12,000-sq.-ft. store in Lafayette has 10 employees and offers tire service, brakes, alignment and other undercar service for retail customers.
That outlet also offers air-conditioning service, express oil service and commercial tire service.
Delta World also purchased the former Porche Tire and Muffler Shop in Houma and will provide the same services in this six-bay, 10,000-sq.-ft. facility.
Paul Bernstein, vice president of Delta World, said the Lafayette location is doubling initial sales expectations.
Delta World has 10 outlets and has been in business since 1938. The firm is a Michelin Alliance dealer and is affiliated with the Del-Nat Tire Corp. group. The dealership also carries Pirelli, Toyo and Goodyear tires.
Mallory-Kotzen Tire Co. Inc., one of America's oldest tire dealerships, opened its third location March 1.
The 18,000-sq.-ft., six-bay facility in Waterbury, Conn., was a former Tire Brokers Inc. location.
Brian Murphy, director of location operations for Mallory-Kotzen, said the new store has about 10 employees, carries 18 different lines of tires and is a wholesale distribution center.
Mallory-Kotzen, founded in 1914 in Larchmont, N.Y., also operates a store in New Rochelle, N.Y.
Buffalo, N.Y.-based Dunn Tire Corp. opened two new outlets last month in Gates and Olean, New York.
On June 5, the company held a grand opening at the five-bay, 6,500-sq.-ft. facility in Gates.
About two weeks later, Dunn Tire held the grand opening of its 28th location in Olean.
"We've been looking there (Olean) for a while," said Randall Clark, Dunn Tire chairman and president.
The 8,500-sq.-ft. Olean store has six bays and was formerly a tire dealership that had been vacant for about five years, he said.
Dunn Tire plans to open two more locations in the Rochester, N.Y., area by September and may open a third store in that same market at a future time, Mr. Clark said.
Somerset Tire Service Inc. of Bound Brook, N.J., opened a store in Norristown, Pa., July 3.
It is the ninth STS location in Pennsylvania, and the firm said it will open two more Pennsylvania stores in Bensalem and Malvern by the end of the year.
The 5,350-sq.-ft. Norristown outlet will have seven employees and six bays.
While most STS stores are free standing, this location shares a building with a Honey-Baked Ham retail store. There wasn't enough space at the site to build a free-standing store, said Marketing Coordinator Deborah Wright, but STS felt this location was important enough to share a building,
Employee-owned STS now has 73 company-owned stores in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania and posts annual sales of approximately $100 million.
Employees at the Big O Tires store in Grand Junction, Colo., have a new employee benefit—use of the company snowmobile.
The dealership won the snowmobile in a sweepstakes sponsored by the CarCareONE credit card program.
The store generated 45 approved credit card applications, and owners Larry Theisen and Kevin Brooks decided to choose the snowmobile as their prize and make it available to their employees.
The CarCareONE credit card program is offered to members of the Tire Association of North America and administered by GE Card Services—which said the program now has 650,000 cardholders.