AKRON-Goodyear is converting its remaining company-owned Goodyear Auto Service Centers in the Chicago metro area and all company-owned retail stores in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., market into its Just Tires retail tire-store format.
The changeover, which affects 12 outlets in each market, should be completed by Jan. 1, a company spokesman said. Goodyear began converting the stores in October.
When completed, Goodyear will operate 27 Just Tires locations in Chicago and 12 in Raleigh-Durham for a total of 103 nationwide. The tire maker also retains about 600 company-owned Goodyear Auto Service Centers and also operates 46 stores in Florida under the Allied Tire banner.
``The conversion program gives us a chance to further test the ability of Just Tires stores to raise tire sales productivity levels vs. the standard Goodyear Auto Service Center format,'' the spokesman said. ``We plan to use all of 2002 to study the expanded Just Tires presence in the Chicago market and the introduction of the format to Raleigh-Durham in order to get a full-year view of all the effects of the change.''
Unlike the Goodyear Auto Service Centers that provide tires and full automotive service, Just Tires outlets focus on tire sales and offer only wheel balancing and alignments.
The stores sell up to three times as many tires as the typical Goodyear Auto Service Center and are known for fast service, the spokesman said. ``The whole point of Just Tires is speed and value and lots of traffic,'' he said.
Goodyear introduced the Just Tires format about 10 years ago with stores in Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
It since has expanded the concept to the Baltimore-Washington area, Raleigh-Durham and the San Jose and Sacramento, Calif., markets.
Just Tires outlets sell Goodyear's own Goodyear, Dunlop and Republic lines, along with assorted competitive brand, including Michelin, BFGoodrich, Continental and Pirelli.
Other than the recently announced conversions, Goodyear has no plans to change over any other company-owned outlets to the Just Tires format, the spokesman said.