PORT St.LUCIE, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2002)— Perhaps serving as a model for future locations, Tire Kingdom Inc. has opened its first tire clearance center.
The inaugural facility is in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and will house between 15,000 and 20,000 tires no longer included in Tire Kingdom's model stock plan.
“As most tire companies do, when you change line-ups you get rid of inventory,” said Aubrey Felton, Tire Kingdom's regional vice president in southeast Florida.
The new clearance center is in a converted Tire Kingdom store.
The retail location was moved to a new building about five miles away, Mr. Felton said.
The clearance center is 6,500 square feet with eight bays. It has a staff of eight, including three in management and sales and five shop staffers.
Mr. Felton said the clearance center currently has enough stock to sustain the store for two or three years with discontinued products alone. The store also will carry Sigma brand tires, which are marketed by TBC Corp., Tire Kingdom´s parent company.
The store, which opened about four months ago, has what Mr. Felton called a different look from a typical Tire Kingdom location, similar to the distinct appearance of the company's performance center in Jacksonville, Fla. It is also advertised separately from other Tire Kingdom locations.
Mr. Felton said the store was initially expected to move about 500 tires per month.
That number already has been exceeded by 300. He said its potential is to sell nearly 2,000 tires per month, if the store affiliates with car dealers or wholesalers.
“It's unlimited. The potential could be huge,” he said. “We're pretty much dealing with just (individual) customers right now.”
Mr. Felton said tentative plans are on the drawing board for similar centers, “not only in the state of Florida, but throughout our retail chain,” but said there is no set timetable.
He did say that Tire Kingdom expects to have at least one more by the end of 2002.
Tire Kingdom has a total of 182 stores in the southeastern U.S., including three retail outlets in Port St. Lucie.