Bound Brook, N.J.-based Somerset Tire Service Inc. has targeted Long Island/Nassau County, N.Y., for growth this year.
North America's 10th-largest independent tire retailer, STS opened its third Long Island retail store April 2, in Massapequa, N.Y., and has plans to open two more, in Huntingdon and Selden, N.Y., before year-end, the company said.
The firm's two exisiting stores on Long Island were opened in the past 18 months, according to STS.
With the Massapequa store, adjacent to Sunrise Mall, STS now has 75 retail stores in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The 5,350-sq.-ft. outlet has six service bays and features the chain's red roof and window-pane-style bay doors architecture.
"The addition of Massapequa is another important strategic milestone in our quest to become the premier provider of tire and automotive services in the Northeast," said Bill Caulin, STS Tire president.
The investment was not disclosed. A grand opening celebration is planned for June.
Big O Tires Inc. dealer Ken Little of Lake Havasu, Ariz., was honored as the "franchisee of the year" by the International Franchise Association at the group's annual convention, held in Las Vegas in March.
Mr. Little was among just 24 award recipients selected by the Washington-based organization from among 800 nominees representing a wide variety of franchising catagories.
"Ken is truly an example of what franchising is all about," said David Boeke, Big O Tires' vice president of franchise development. "He has utilized our programs and our systems to become extremely successful. We are proud to have him as our customer."
A Big O dealer since July 1976, Mr. Little has been a partner in or the owner of six stores in Southern California. He opened the Lake Havasu Big O outlet in April 1993, after selling his interests in the California stores.
During his years with the Big O organization, Mr. Little has served in various capacities: He was chairman of the Southern California Big O group for 13 years, and more recently was the Arizona group's chairman.
Roy Gunnell, vice president of Big O's Arizona region, nominated Mr. Little, noting that he is a very loyal supporter of his dealer group, traveling over 500 miles to attend dealer meetings.
"Ken is a great contributor to the Big O Tires organization and to the entire industry," Mr. Gunnell said.
Big O Tires is owned by Memphis, Tenn.-based TBC Corp.