SCRANTON, Pa.-Saying he wants his company to concentrate on the retail portion of its business, William C. Williams has sold his two Jack Williams Tire Co. Inc. commercial outlets and a retread plant to Goodyear and will operate his two retail/commercial outlets strictly as retail stores.
Terms of the sale, agreed upon in early July, were not disclosed. The transaction included the dealership's commercial sites in Wilkes-Barre and Moosic, Pa., a Goodyear Next-Tred retread operation and off-road division. Approximately 50 Jack Williams Tire commercial employees were retained by Goodyear, leaving the dealership with approximately 350 employees.
Mr. Williams-president, CEO and son of the late founder and company namesake-said the outlets were bought by and will work ``under the umbrella'' of Wingfoot Commercial Tire Systems L.L.C., 60 percent of which is owned by Goodyear.
``I started the commercial business 40 years ago and did a good job of it,'' Mr. Williams said. ``Our strength is in the retail. It's hard to wear all three hats. Most of the people in our organization were in retail or wholesale. I found myself spending the bulk of my time in the smallest part of my company.''
While he said only 20 percent of the dealership's business was on the commercial side, ``I was spending 80 percent of my time there.''
Only last year, Jack Williams Tire converted its former Oliver retreading plant in Moosic to Goodyear's Next-Tred precure process, doubling the capacity in the process to 200 units a day.
Jack Williams Tire now operates 20 American Car Care Centers (ACCC) retail locations, has two more planned for later this year and perhaps another five in 2002.
Mr. Williams said his desire to keep the retail portion of his business running smoothly-a segment that has doubled in size over the past seven years-is why he elected to sell the commercial outlets. However, the company will continue to operate a wholesale business supplying other commercial entities.
``We've moved into new market areas,'' Mr. Williams said. ``We want to continue to put all our assets and efforts into those areas.''
Goodyear offered no specific explanation for the transaction, saying the tire maker is always looking for opportunities and this one just happened to come along. A spokeswoman added that the idea for the sale evolved during a business review meeting.
``It was a mutual interest from the start,'' she said. With the purchase, Wingfoot now has 10 facilities in Pennsylvania.
Jack Williams Tire was established in 1929 in Kingston, Pa. Its retail outlets-spread throughout eastern Pennsylvania-sell Michelin, BFGoodrich, Uniroyal, Kelly, General, and ACCC's American Radial private label tires.
The company reported approximately $42 million in annual sales in 2000.
Retail sales accounted for 58 and 55 percent of the company's sales in 1999 and 1998, respectively, while commercial sales comprised 17 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
On the retail side, tires comprise 60 percent of the dealership's sales vs. 40 percent for automotive service. Sales figures for 2000 were not available.