Breaking ground or cutting ribbons at an average clip of at least three stores per year, Southern California's Certified Tire and Service Centers Inc. is a dealership on a roll.
Consisting of just five locations as recently as three years ago, Certified Tire has boomed to a 14-store chain, with plans to expand to 17 by the end of 2002 and 19 as soon as March 2003, according to President Jeff Darrow.
``We are looking to grow through various means,'' he said. The company opened its latest store last month, has two more under construction and plans to purchase three additional outlets.
The most recent outlet, opened in Riverside, Calif., is an 8,600-sq.-ft., eight-bay shop with nine employees. Mr. Darrow called it ``a pretty big store for us,'' noting that his more typical locations are closer to 6,500 square feet with as many employees as the new location.
Currently the company employs 147, Mr. Darrow said. Located in the San Diego, Riverside and Orange County areas (including the High Desert region), Certified Tire sells Goodyear, Dunlop, Falken, Hercules and Kelly brand tires.
The 100-percent retail dealership sells ``a lot of tuner wheels,'' primarily American Racing brand, according to Mr. Darrow.