MEMPHIS, Tenn. (June 5, 2001)—Thanks to an accelerated expansion program, TBC Corp.'s Big O Tires Inc. subsidiary already has met its full-year goal of having more than 480 U.S. retail tire stores in operation.
Commenting on what he called “an ambitious goal,” Larry Day, TBC's president and chief executive, said Big O's plans were to open at least 20 new locations for the full year on top of its base of 462 outlets operating at the end of 2000. “We have already met that objective with 482 Big O stores currently open in the United States and are planning to add as many as 10 other locations by mid year,” he said.
“Our expansion thus far in 2001 has been aided by the acquisition of some stores, but our focus remains on expanding through new franchised locations.”
The Big O system now spans 20 states, with an additional 35 associate dealers in Canada.TBC acquired the chain in 1996, which at the time included 395 outlets.
Mr. Day said the company's emphasis “on continuing to build Big O as principally a franchised system has been rewarded by the high rankings that we consistently receive in nationwide surveys of customers about their preferred tire retailers.”
Big O, he added, is now the nation's largest franchiser of retail tire stores and represents the third largest retail tire dealership in the U.S.
TBC is pleased with the “outstanding progress” the dealership has recorded thus far in 2001, he said, and is excited about the ongoing growth potential of the Big O system.
In addition to Big O, Memphis-based TBC also operates 172 Tire Kingdom Inc. retail outlets—most of which are in Florida. One of the nation's largest marketers of replacement tires, TBC also sells to wholesale customers that operate more than 200 regional distribution centers serving independent tire dealers throughout the U.S., and in Canada and Mexico